Why Did Christ Have to Rise Again?
Easter Sunday is just a few days away.
For Church goers, Easter Sunday is a BIG day, full of joy, a great message, and a likely family dinner later on. Its a time when HOPE triumphs over the painful blackness, or confusing gray matter in our lives. Even if this Hope only lasts a day, a week, an hour, a morning…This Hope can give a lot of people that big gasp of air that they needed after feeling like they are drowning in the busyness, complexities, or the despairs of life.
But Easter is about more than an encouraging message of Hope, funny Easter egg hunts, and time with family. Those things are all great things, but usually we forget the depth of meaning of the main reason in which Easter exists: To celebrate that Christ Is Risen.
We know, we know…Christ rose from the dead. We hear it every year, every month, and every Sunday. But what is unique about Easter is that it is a day dedicated to celebrating that amazing fact alone. So this Easter, I want us all, myself included, to take advantage of this special day. I want us to say “He is Risen Indeed!” with confidence, awe, and wonder…as opposed to monotonically saying it back just out of compulsion.
So lets go through the meaning and significance of easter together. I KNOW this will be familiar to many of you…I know you’ve likely heard some of this before…but please, let us prayerfully consider the significance of that which we commonly glance over.
Why did Christ have to come to earth as a child?
Have you ever wondered this? Why did Jesus have to come to earth as a baby when he could have come to earth as a fully grown man? Why would the God of the universe come to earth and likely go through sickness, temptations, neglect, sadness, depression, happiness, etc.?
Christ came to earth as a child to show us a real example of living out the Will of God on earth.
Christ came as a child to go through the human emotions and trials that we go through so that we know that we have a God who has felt what we feel, and has shown us how to overcome.
Christ came as a Child to show that the chasm we build between humanity and God is much smaller than we think. God is intimately concerned for us, for our lives- for our souls.
Why did Christ perform miracles, care for the poor, chastise the misled religious people, and preach such a controversial message?
When we hear the Gospel presented to us, or to others- it usually goes like this: “Jesus, who is God, came to earth, died on a cross for our sins, and was raised again on the third day. All who repent, and believe in him will be saved.”
And I am not saying that that presentation is bad — for certainly some are saved because of hearing that. But I will say that there is more to the story.
Jesus chose rejects to be his disciples. Jesus chose a tax collector, who was despised by many, to be a disciple.
Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of the day for perverting the will of God over people’s lives so that it was meaninglessly constraining, as opposed to meaningfully propelling them to a closer relationship with God.
Jesus advocated for, protected, provided for, and healed the sick, poor, the outcasts, the “sinners”.
And Jesus also gave a consistent message of being completely Devoted to God, and His will. Of fleeing sin, and seeking holiness. Of taking the old laws, and pushing them further: You’ve heard it said, don’t commit adultery, but don’t think lustfully of another person either. You have heard it said don’t murder…but don’t be hateful towards another.
Jesus even gave the odd message of loving your enemies, and praying for your persecutors…All out of a devotion to God, and following His Will.
Why did Christ have to die?
Christians for many years have wondered what the exact reason was as to why Christ had to die…was it to be a holy sacrifice to appease God’s just wrath? Was it to triumph and be victorious over the powers of evil, and freeing us from their bondage? What was it?
Regardless of what we believe as to the question of why Christ had to die… the reason for all of it boils down to this: To save us.
Christ had to die for us. God died for us. God died for the Kings, queens, CEO’s and janitors who put their trust in Him. God died to give the whole world a chance of Hope. He was buried in a tomb.
Why did Christ have to rise again?
Why did Jesus Christ have to physically rise from the dead? Why could he not have just rose again as a spirit?
Just as Christ came into the world as a baby to show us his humanity, he had to die to show us his humanity. But he had to rise again to show us the power of God. He had to rise again to give us a physical picture of eternal life.
In rising again, Jesus Christ affirmed that he was who he said he was.
In rising again, Jesus affirmed that what he taught, what he did, and how he lived were all true, and true examples for us to follow.
In rising again, Jesus showed his followers that God is stronger than death, stronger than evil forces, and is stronger than an earthly tomb.
In rising again, Christ raised us up with him, spiritually, so that we are free from the bondage of sin, and we are free to run to Him.
In rising again, Jesus affirmed that light beats dark, that Good wins over evil, and that Humanity is worth the compassion of God.
In rising again, Christ calls us to abandon our old selves, and to live with God.
The Resurrection is EVERYTHING.