Tag Archives: resurrection



Just as God’s grace underpins everything He does for us and in us to enable us to overcome the world, so Jesus’ resurrection is the reason and the power to overcome.

Paul said that, without Jesus’ resurrection, we have no hope and are still dead in our trespasses and sins.

“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 NIV

The resurrection of Jesus is an undeniable fact of history. Many unbelievers have tried to disprove the truth that Jesus rose from the dead but, from Biblical and secular evidence, no one has been able to disprove the fact.

Frank Morrison, an unbelieving lawyer, wrote a book called “Who Moved the Stone?” in which he set out to disprove the resurrection but, after examining all the evidence from a legal perspective, he could only conclude that Jesus really did rise from the dead. On the strength of his findings, Morrison became a believer.

Before we consider some important aspects of Jesus’s resurrection, we must understand that before God created the universe, before the beginning of time, His plan was to create people who would live forever.

Job, who lived during the time of the patriarchs, had this hope.

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” Job 19:25-27 NLT

David spoke of Messiah’s resurrection centuries before Jesus came to earth.

King David said this about him: ‘I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’” Acts of the Apostles 2:25-28 NLT

Despite the futility of life, Solomon recognised that God had a higher plan for man.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart…” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

Without the resurrection of Jesus, none of God’s plans for the human race would come to anything. Death, the last enemy, would never be conquered, and Satan would have the last word.


  1. The resurrection was the fulfilment of prophecy and God’s seal of approval on Jesus’s work of salvation.

“And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus…”

  1. The resurrection affirmed Jesus’s identity as the Son of God.

“… He was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:4 NLT

  1. The resurrection confirmed Jesus’s sinless nature.

“But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.” Acts of the Apostles 2:24 NLT

For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’” Acts of the Apostles 2:27-28 NLT

  1. The resurrection sealed Jesus’s exaltation as Lord and Messiah.

“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand…” Acts of the Apostles 2:32 NLT

“So, let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Acts of the Apostles 2:36 NLT

  1. The resurrection guarantees the full harvest of those who will rise again.

“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.” 1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT

‘But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.” 1 Corinthians 15:23 NLT

  1. The resurrection completed Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

“Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT

“For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 NLT


The resurrection power of Jesus affects both our present and our future.


Paul prayed…

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT

Through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, we have become one with Him. This means that we share in all the benefits of His life, death and resurrection.

This truth has far-reaching effects on our everyday lives in the environment and influence of an evil world. According to Paul, we died with Christ (because we are “in Christ”) and we have been raised with Him to a new life.

So, just as His death and resurrection cut Jesus off from His life as an earthly being and restored Him to His position in glory…

“We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.” Romans 6:9-10 NLT

… so we, who died and rose again “in Him” by faith, have been cut off from our old, sinful lives and have risen to a new life in the realm of God’s kingdom.

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-6 NLT

Through our baptism in water, we illustrate what has happened to us in the spiritual dimension. Not only that, but we also make a public declaration of our union and identity with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection and…

By faith we embrace the same power that raised Christ from the dead to raise us up from the works of the flesh that produce death, to newness of life in Jesus.


To use the excuse that we are “only human” when we sin is to cancel God’s power in us to live new lives in Christ.

“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Romans 6:1-4 NLT

What we need, to begin with, is a new understanding of what has happened to and in us when we believed the gospel.

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.” Romans 6:6-8 NLT

Based on this understanding, and believing the truth of what Jesus has done for us, we need to develop a new awareness.

“So, you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11 NLT

How do we apply this awareness to our everyday lives, when we are under pressure to act and react like people of the world?

“So, you also should CONSIDER yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. DO NOT LET sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, GIVE YOURSELVES completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” Romans 6:11-13 NLT

Paul gives us three courses of action to overcome the temptation to give in to the flesh.

  1. Consider…

This means that we stop and think first before we say or do anything out of the flesh. Emotion is often what we respond to first, but emotion always follows wrong thinking.

So, the fact that you are dead to your old nature is a done deal. Now let that thought (truth) dominate your mind in that situation before you make the next move.

  1. Do not let…

Say a firm  “No!” to what your flesh wants to do. It’s a choice YOU have to make and, once you’ve made it, grace steps in and gives you the power to do what you have decided.

  1. Give yourselves…

Since it is impossible to think two thoughts simultaneously, once you have changed your thinking from yourself to God, your mind is on safe ground and will lead you to take the right action.

This is resurrection power working in you that will train you to live by the Spirit and not according to the flesh. It will take a lifetime to learn but, if you keep applying these truths to your life, the journey will become easier.

“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13 NLT


The resurrection of Jesus affects the way we deal with our present tests and trials in the light of our hope for the future.

Our life philosophy should never be either a  “karma-type” fatalism, what will be will be, or “let’s eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” way of thinking. We are tied to a hope for the future that is securely joined both to our present and to Jesus’ resurrection.

This is how the resurrection affects our future.

(The following points aren’t in any sequence or order of priority).

  1. Jesus’s resurrection gives us the hope of eternal life.

“Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” John 11:25-26 NLT

” Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.” John 14:19 NLT

  1. We will be God’s eternal dwelling place.

“When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:20 NLT

  1. The resurrection guarantees that we are justified, no longer guilty of sin

“He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”Romans 4:25 NLT

  1. Jesus is the firstfruits, we are the harvest of the resurrection

“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.” 1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT

  1. Jesus’ resurrection conquered sin and death

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. ” 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NLT

  1. We will be raised with new, indestructible bodies

“Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NLT

  1. Our hope of resurrection motivates us

To live pure lives

“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 NLT

… and to persevere in doing good

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NLT

  1. Our resurrection will happen in an instant…

“But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NLT

… and we will be with the Lord forever

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NLT

Therefore, we, of all people, have everything to live for and to die for. We have powerful equipment to overcome our enemies in this life, both outside and inside of us… the world, the flesh, and the devil…

… and we have the hope that draws us towards, eternity. Death is no longer something to fear. It is the door to our eternal dwelling place with God. And the indestructible truth that gives us this hope is…

… that Jesus rose from the dead and is now

“…. seated… in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT


“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 NLT


All Scripture quotations in this series

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.





8 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” Mark 12:18-27

Now it was the Sadducees’ turn to have a go at Jesus. How sincere were they? If questions are a revelation of the way a person is thinking, then the question asked by the religious leaders via the Pharisees etc., as well as the Sadducees’ question, revealed how little understanding they had about things relating to the kingdom of God. None of these people were on a quest for truth. They were on a mission to indict Jesus but, instead, they were indicting themselves.

The Sadducees’ question about resurrection was probably intended to expose what they believed was error – the fact of the resurrection, but instead it exposed their own faulty belief system. They were obviously of the opinion that resurrection life, if there was such a thing, was merely a continuation of this present system, in which case, the law of Levirate marriage posed a problem. Were they trying to prove how ridiculous resurrection appeared to them?

Jesus was quick to pounce on their error. He brought two truths about resurrection life to the surface.

  1. Marriage was intended to be a visual aid and a human experience of ECHAD on earth as a preparation for our eternal experience of ecstasy and intimacy with God in the kingdom. Therefore, there will be no need for marriage in the hereafter. Its purpose will have been fulfilled.
  2. Death does not end our human existence. It is merely the process by which we pass into the third and final stage of life. God does not have dead sons but living sons, those who have fulfilled their apprenticeship on earth and move into the eternal realm where they are fully alive forever.

How did Jesus know this? Was it merely through the study of the Scriptures? No. Many times during the course of His public ministry He repeated His claim to have come from the Father. All their questions about the source of His authority were answered if they had only listened to Him. He had personal experience of the truth He proclaimed because He came from the other side.



“Jesus said, ‘Marriage is a major preoccupation here, but not there. Those who are included in the resurrection of the dead will no longer be concerned with marriage or, of course, with death. They will have better things to think about, if you can believe it. All ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.'” Luke 20:34-36.

Wrong perspective again! Would they never learn?

The Sadducees’ preoccupation was political rather than religious and they had no axe to grind with Jesus. However, they were prompted to get in on the act with their religious counterparts, the Pharisees, not realising that no-one could outsmart Jesus, least of all them with their superficial knowledge of the Scriptures.

So they came at Him with a question prompted by their ignorance, and received a profound response that gives us a chink of light into the life of the believer in the hereafter. It amazes me how much of Jesus’ teaching on the deepest truths about God and the relationship He has called us into, came out of conflict with His opponents.

The current concept and experience of marriage, both in the world and in the church, is a mess because we have failed to grasp God’s original intention, hence the soaring divorce rate, dysfunctional families and all the unhappiness that causes, and all the other deviations from this holy institution; sexual promiscuity, ‘shacking up’ and so-called ‘sexual orientation’. Although our way does not work, we have not yet learned that God’s way is the truth.

What is God’s way?

On one occasion the Pharisees were questioning Jesus about the legality of divorce. He swept aside their rationalising in one single statement, “‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard, but it was not this way from the beginning.'” Matthew 19:8 (NIV).

God expressly stated that His intention was to create man in His own image. Israel’s statement of faith in Deuteronomy 6:4 gives us the essence of what that means: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” God’s oneness implies unity in diversity, unity of essence and nature but diversity in function.

The entire universe reflects God’s image in its interdependence and interaction. Nothing in the universe functions independently. The universe is one, unity in diversity. The pinnacle of the expression of that oneness is in man. God made man to be like Him in the unity of our being – body, soul and spirit functioning as one, and in our capacity to be spiritually one with Him.

After creating man and woman, His first action was to bring them together for one purpose: “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:23-24 (NIV).

Jesus made it clear that marriage was only for this life because, when a husband and wife learn to live together in unity, they will have a foretaste of the ecstasies and intimacies of unity with God in the life to come. Marriage is a picture of the real thing and will fall away when the real thing happens.

Selfishness and the power struggle that often happens between husband and wife ruin that picture. It can only become reality if they both understand what marriage is about and learn to live with each other in mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21), and self-sacrificing love. Jesus is our perfect role model. He gave His life for His bride, the church. The purpose of marriage is to be a mirror to the world of what Jesus did for His bride, so that the world may see what God is like and return to Him.



“Some Sadducees came up. This is the Jewish party that denies any possibility of resurrection. They asked, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote us that if a man dies and leaves a wife but no child, his brother is obligated to take the widow to wife and get her with child.  Well, there were once seven brothers. The first took a wife. He died childless. The second married her and died, and then the third, and eventually all seven had their turn, but no child. After all that, the wife died. That wife, now – In the resurrection whose wife is she? All seven married her.'” Luke 20:27-33.

Quite a contrived story!

It must have been obvious to Jesus that it was a trick question. Perhaps these arrogant Jews were hoping to insult Him and make Him look like a fool so that they could undermine His credibility with the people.

Under normal circumstances, the Pharisees and Sadducees were on opposite sides of the fence. The Pharisees were the fanatically religious leaders, sticking rigidly to the minutiae of the Law while the Sadducees were part of the political wing. They denied the supernatural; hence they rejected any possibility of resurrection.

They made up this story to catch Jesus out, to make Him and the whole possibility of resurrection look silly, to undermine His claim to be Messiah and, ultimately, to be the Son of God because He was supporting a pipe-dream!

These men had to learn that God’s truth and God’s ways were not some superficial and poorly-devised idea to give them false hope and lure them into worshipping Him under false pretences. They were correct in their understanding of the law of levirate marriage but, as we examine Jesus’ response in the next study, their understanding of God’s kingdom and the life to come was way off track.

This is the problem when we try to rationalise God’s revelation and apply human wisdom to God’s ways. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ’As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV).

God does not reveal Himself and His ways to satisfy our curiosity. He only reveals what He wants us to know to show us His greatness so that we will take His word seriously and submit to His authority. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV).

The attitude of the Sadducees is still alive today. People who have no desire to know the truth so that they can follow Jesus, replicate the Sadducees’ approach to Him. Their questions are not for honest answers but because they are looking for an excuse to justify their unbelief.

We need to be careful if we think we can make a fool of God. As the Apostle Paul said, ‘God’s foolishness is wiser than our wisdom!’ His mercy is wide open to those who are humble enough to recognise their need and to call on Him, but there is nothing but judgment for the people who think they can make it on their own.

God has made it clear that He has no time for arrogant fools but endless mercy and grace for the humble. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6b (NIV).



“When this became known all over Joppa many put their trust in the Master. Peter stayed on a long time in Joppa as a guest of Simon the Tanner.” Acts 9:42-43 (The Message).

What was it that caused the message of Jesus to touch people’s lives in wave upon wave every time a miracle happened? Was it the miracles that attracted them or was it the proof that Jesus was alive that convinced them?

Miracles do not produce or sustain faith. We only have to read the story of God’s people in their deliverance from Egypt and their sojourn in the wilderness to recognise this. At no other time in their history did the Israelites experience more or greater miracles than when God rescued them from Pharaoh “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” and cared for them for forty years in the desert.

Plagues that destroyed a nation and its economy and finally wiped out its military might; natural phenomena like a wind so powerful that it cut a path through the sea; manna that appeared every six days out of seven; a flock of birds so vast that it covered their camp; water that flowed out of a rock enough to satisfy the needs of more than two million people; a pillar of cloud that gave the people shade from the desert sun by day and fire that warmed them at night — these and much more, were the order of the day. Could God have done any more for them than He did?

Yet they grumbled, rebelled, disobeyed and even set up a forbidden image in spite of all the miracles that attested to God’s invisible presence with them and power among them. A deeper investigation into the Old Testament actually reveals that the greatest miracles happened during the times of Israel’s greatest unbelief e.g., during the times of Elijah and Elisha.

No, miracles do not produce saving faith. What was it that convinced people everywhere that what the disciples were proclaiming was the truth? There were no billboards inviting people to “come and get your miracle” as we so often see today. Their message was simple. “Jesus is alive and He is Lord.”

It was the resurrection of Jesus that powered their faith. Miracles were the evidence of the presence of God’s kingdom on earth. People put their faith in the risen Jesus, not to get their miracle but because He is alive and He is who He said He is. They did not come to Him to get their needs met or to have a comfortable life or even a free ticket to heaven. They entrusted their lives to Him because He is Lord.

Not even the threat of persecution could stop the phenomenal growth of the church. Persecution weeded out the passengers and strengthened the faith and character of those who truly followed Jesus. And God continued to verify the truth of His Son’s resurrection by confirming His word with signs following.

Peter remained in Joppa. A new branch of the church was growing there. As a guest of Simon the Tanner, he stayed on to preach and teach about Jesus so that the faith of these new believers would be anchored in the truth of who Jesus is.

What if Jesus did nothing for us? He owes us nothing and is under no obligation to do anything for us. Would we still follow Him and put our trust in Him, or is our faith so mercenary that we only believe in Him for what we can get out of it? What He does for us flows from His infinite generosity and we are beneficiaries of pure grace.

It is His passion to put His glory on display that prompts His goodness to us. Let us never slip into the false notion that there is anything in us or anything we can do for Him that merits His favour.