"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is," (1 John 3:2).
We've spent several weeks talking about the meaning of Christ's death upon the cross. But without his resurrection that death is ultimately meaningless. Many men have died upon a cross, but only one has risen from death. And the death and resurrection of Jesus benefits all of those that are united to him by faith. Let's mention a few of those benefits.
First of all, his believers will be raised up in glory (1 Cor. 15:43). Whatever weakness we have now that are a result of the fall of Adam and his passing that sin down through all of his descendants will be done away with. Jesus died for our sin, and he overcame it in his resurrection. Sin will take our mortal bodies to the grave, but Christ will raise us up in glory. How do we know this? Jesus was raised from the dead as the first fruits of all those that would follow him in resurrection. We will be raised and we will receive a body like unto our Lord Jesus. The second benefit of the resurrection is that we will be declared innocent at the Day of Judgment. This will prove our unity in Christ Jesus which is our oneness with him as the Body of Christ. We could never stand before God in our own self-righteousness and be acquitted. We must even have a positive righteousness so as to enter into the Kingdom. And we will have it because we will be seen by the Father as having the perfect record of our Lord and Savior. We will be acquitted on that Great Day.
Finally, we'll have eternal life. We'll be raised up-both body and soul-to enjoy all the good things Jesus secured for us in his perfect life and death. We will be with God himself and enjoy him in endless days. And we will all be free from the stain of sin upon our lives. No longer will sicknesses plague us. No longer will enmity and strife define us. No longer will the evil one threaten us. For our God will have put all things under his subjection, even death itself. Rejoice O Christian for Christ has overcome the grave for you.
Jarrod Belcher is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Williamson. He writes a weekly column. He can be contacted at email@example.com.