Romans 1:3-4 – concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
As we approach our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, our thoughts may turn to the question of the importance of the resurrection. Is it really crucial for a Christian to believe that Jesus truly, literally, physically rose from the grave? Is it really that important for us to see the resurrection as something more than a figurative and spiritual occurrence? Often these questions are rightly answered by a look at 1 Corinthians 15. But, my current reading is in Romans. Yet, even here, the Lord makes it clear that it is absolutely vital that we understand that the resurrection of Jesus is a very real, very literal event.
Here in the opening of Paul’s letter to the Romans, we find a reference to the resurrection. What is the significance that Paul gives Jesus’ rising from the grave? Paul says that it is through the resurrection that Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God in power.” Simply put, the resurrection of Jesus is powerful and real proof that Jesus is exactly who he claims to be. Without it, we dare not believe that a man is truly God in flesh. With the resurrection, we see that Jesus’ seemingly impossible claim to be both God and man is indeed true.
You may have often heard Christians using the resurrection of Jesus as the proof that separates Jesus from other religious figures. This verse lets us know that such a claim and comparison is accurate. Jesus is far superior to every other religious figure in history including Mohammad, Joseph Smith, any Buddha, or any other great guru, because Jesus supported his own claim to deity by physically coming back to life after being dead. The fact that Jesus did not remain in the grave is a solid proof that his claims of sacrificing himself for our sins as our substitute, of satisfying God’s wrath for our sin, of being God himself are all true.
So, as Resurrection Sunday (my term for Easter) approaches, take time to ponder the significance of the resurrection of Jesus. We dare not let such a crucial part of our faith be relegated to insignificance. Jesus is alive. The fact that he lives gives credence to all the rest of our faith. Without the resurrection, we have nothing. With a living Jesus, we have hope for eternity. Let us love and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.