“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)
The resurrection of Christ is no less crucial to the gospel than the death of Christ. If He did not rise from the dead, then we who believe in Him “are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Christ’s resurrection assures us, first of all, of our justification. Speaking of Abraham’s faith and the imputation of God’s righteousness to him, Paul writes, “For us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).
God imparts to us the power to serve Him effectively through the resurrection, “that [we] may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:18-20). As the passage continues, Paul declares that through the resurrection Christ is now “the head over all things to the church, which is His body” (vv. 22-23 and also in our text).
In His resurrected and glorified state, Christ continues His ministry to us. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens. . . . Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14, 16).
Finally, Christ’s resurrection assures us that we too will one day be resurrected, if we should die before He returns. “He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14). JDM