Easter Sunday or Resurrection Day is the most holy day in Christian history. It is a day of rejoicing. It is a day of celebration. It is a day of remembering and reflecting. Do you know why it is known as Resurrection Day? Do you really know? Do you fully understand what you are celebrating?
The reality of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is not only that it happened, but it had to happen. It had to happen because God planned it from the beginning.
Nothing happens just because. Everything is planned by God. The death of Jesus was planned from the beginning of the Bible even though it was not fulfilled until the time of the gospels. God is a God of order. His divine planning is thorough. Nothing just happens with God. There is a reason and a season for everything to happen.
Jesus was born for the purpose of saving us from our sins by dying on the cross. That was God’s plan of redemption.
• Jesus’ purpose was to die for us.
• Our purpose is to live for Him.
“The Reality of the Resurrection” was so that the scriptures might be fulfilled.
- All the way through the Old Testament, the death, burial and resurrection were predicted. It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Joel, Nahum, etc.
- Prophecies included every detail surrounding Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and Second Coming.
- All through the New Testament the resurrection is a focus point. All four gospel writers do not record everything about Jesus, but the crucifixion and resurrection are given full attention in the last chapters of all four gospels. In Matthew 28, in Mark 16, In Luke 24 and in John 20, the resurrection is told in detail.
- Jesus even predicted His own death and His own resurrection. He had stated all along that he would die and rise again. “He is not here. He is risen, just as He said.” In Matthew 20:17-19, Jesus told His disciples precisely what would happen. In Revelation 1:18 Jesus said, “I am the living God; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever and I hold the keys of death and hell.”
- When the Pharisees asked for a sign. Jesus went so far as to point out what the only sure sign would be. It was the Sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was three days in the belly of the big fish, so the Son of Man will be in the belly of the earth (Matthew 12:40).
If Jesus has not risen from the dead, he would be no different from others who had died.
- Other religious leaders and prophets died, and are still dead: Mohammed, Harry Kristner, Joseph Smith, Mary Eddie Baker, Jim Jones, David Kuresh. Even Confucius died. Those who professed to be the real God did die; and they are still dead. Jesus was real. Jesus died, yet He lives.
- Our salvation is based on the reality that God raised Jesus from the dead. Romans 10:9 says, “If you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, that Jesus died and God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” By faith we believe the resurrection did happen. By faith we believe the resurrection had to happen.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus happened so we could be cleansed of our sins. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus happened because we owed a debt; we couldn’t pay. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. He received the reward of eternal life, but didn’t need it. So He gave it to us. Because of His blood we have remission of our sins. It had to happen that way. There was no other way.
To summarize: The resurrection had to happen . . .
- To fulfill the scriptures.
- God planned it that way.
- Jesus said it would happen.
- The Holy Spirit bears witness that it happened that way.