Breaking the Seal– The Meaning and Significance of the Resurrection

       Easter Sunday- a day when Christians all over the world come together with their brothers and sisters in Christ and celebrate the glorious rising of our savior. It’s a time of food and fellowship, of personal reflection and mutual celebration. The Resurrection is obviously a monumental part of our faith. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
        We all know that the Resurrection is cause for joyous celebration. But why is it so integral to the Christian faith? We say that it was Christ’s sacrifice, Christ’s blood, that saved us from our sins. So why would our faith be futile without the Resurrection? There are many reasons that the Resurrection is significant. But it is important that we view it as more than just significant- we need to recognize that it is absolutely vital to Christianity and the doctrine of salvation. Let’s take a closer look at that together today.
All throughout our lives, we hear many reasons that the Resurrection is important. It shows that Jesus really was God, and it wasn’t just a hoax. It showed that God has great power. It shows that God cared about Jesus enough to bring Him back. And these are all important things. However, though true, it is not because of these reasons that the Resurrection is so integral. The Resurrection is, in fact, a necessary part of bringing us our salvation. In looking into this, we will use 1 Corinthians 15, verses 12 through 28. In this passage, Paul addresses the issue of the Resurrection. The Corinthians were beginning to think that maybe Christians wouldn’t be literally raised from the dead after death, but that it was just a spiritual change in this life. It sounded good to them. But Paul wanted to show them that without the Resurrection, Christianity is futile and pointless. Whenever we look at doctrines of God and salvation, it is important that we use Scripture as our basis, lest we rely on man’s wisdom rather than God’s and stray from the truth.
So why is the Resurrection so important? First, let’s look at what Paul says directly.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death,by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:12-28
        Wow! Pretty deep stuff. Let’s look closely at what Paul is talking about here. He starts out by asking a question- how can you say there is no resurrection? He then goes on to explain that to believe that there is no resurrection means to deny that Christ was even raised. From there it’s all downhill- if Christ has not been raised, ultimately Christianity is futile. But why? Why is it so important? Paul explains this well. He says that, just as death entered the world through one man (Adam), so death has been destroyed by one man (Jesus). And just as death was handed down from Adam to all who were born from Him, so all who are born again in Christ may be handed out of death.
This may seem a bit confusing. Allow me to attempt to explain this in clearer language. Essentially, it’s like this. When Adam and Eve first sinned, they brought death into the world. From then on, “original sin-” the curse of sin and death brought on by Adam and Eve’s first sin- has been handed down from father to son (or daughter), all throughout history. Through one man’s sin, death entered the world. In the same way, it is through one man’s sacrifice that death has been destroyed, and all who believe in Him and are essentially born again in Him rather than in Adam are saved from that curse of death. But again, this seems that it was only the death of Christ that was needed, not the Resurrection.
However, the fact is, salvation was a two-step program. There were two major components- first the death, and then the Resurrection. The death of Christ essentially took the sins of every person who ever lived and ever will live and killed them. As 1 Peter 2:24a says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree.” In sacrificing Himself, Jesus took the sins of all mankind upon Himself, and they were killed with Him, and cast out. However, at this point, death still had power, because God Himself was held under its curse. Sin had been killed, but this still allowed death to reign. The death of sin was still death. This is why the Resurrection is so necessary. You see, in rising, Christ defeated death once and for all. Picture this- Jesus carried all sins on His back and ran into the prison of death. He then planted a bomb inside the prison of death, and left all the sins inside. He burst forth from the prison, and the bomb detonated- death was destroyed, and sin along with it. This was the second step of the two-step program of salvation. That’s an incredibly stupid way of explaining it, but it sounded cooler in my head.
I’ll give you another visual. Have you ever seen something that was sealed? I’ll use the example of a cardboard cereal box. It’s sealed shut. (Do not consume if seal is broken.) Before Jesus was raised, we were sealed inside death. We were trapped in the cereal box of death, as it were. But Jesus, in His rising, broke the seal of death. He busted open the cereal box. Now that the seal is broken, we too are all able to escape from the prison. We can choose to stay inside- Jesus didn’t drag us out. He simply took our sins from us in His death, and broke the seal with His rising. It is up to us to choose to come out.
Does this make sense at all? Are you beginning to understand why the Resurrection is so vital? As Paul said in our passage in 1 Corinthians, Death was the last foe to be defeated to allow Christ’s new kingdom to be established. Now that Death has been defeated, the prison blown up, the seal broken, we are free and God can reign in our lives and hearts.
So as we can see, the Resurrection is a cause for celebration. It’s so much more than a happy ending to the story. Through the Resurrection, Death, the great unbeatable foe, has been destroyed! Christ has achieved victory! He is the firstfruits of life, the one who defeated death. And now all of us who belong to Him can be free from its curse. Death is beaten- He has rescued us!
Easter Sunday is a time of celebration and joy, as well as a time of reflection and inner gratitude to God. It’s a time to celebrate with others and to sit and thank God in the quietness of your own heart. Always remember what God has done for you, while you rebelled against Him. The Resurrection is the epitome of Christianity, the pinnacle of all that we believe. In the moment of His rising, Jesus Christ defeated death once and for all. The seal is broken. We are free.

Thank you, Lord. We are free.

1 thought on “Breaking the Seal– The Meaning and Significance of the Resurrection

  1. Hey y'all, this is a comment from the person who wrote this post (and all the others on this blog, for that matter). Why? Because I wanted to show you where the “Comment” section is! I don't want to be the only blabbermouth writing stuff on here. We want to hear what you have to say! So be sure to comment on what you like and don't like!

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