The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York represented not only international commerce, but architecturally the glory and greatness of human achievement, yet like everything pertaining man, they sadly did not prove to be indestructible or enduring.
The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus are, figuratively speaking, the 'twin towers' of the gospel. These two truths represent the glory and greatness of divine accomplishment, and having withstood attacks from the enemies of truth for centuries, they still stand strong as the Christian’s source of confidence and reason for hope.
The apostle Paul defined succinctly and simply the gospel message when writing to the church in Corinth: ‘I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures' (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4).
Among the Corinthian believers there were some who propagated the notion ‘that there is no resurrection of the dead’ (1 Corinthians 15:12). The implications of such an idea were serious and far reaching; Paul writes:
'But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then
our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God,
because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the
dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your
faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have
perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable'
(1 Corinthians 15:13-19).
Does the resurrection matter? It matters so much that it makes all the difference between Heaven and Hell. ‘But now is Christ risen from the dead’ (1 Corinthians 15:20) wrote Paul with conviction and certainty. To Paul, the resurrection was a proven fact and its outcome unmistakable.
If then the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ matters so much, what does it tell us about His person and how does it affect the gospel?
1. The Resurrection Proves the Dependability of His Word
The Lord Jesus said before ever going to the cross that He would rise again: 'And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again’ (Mark 8:31). His word is always dependable for ‘it is impossible for God to lie’ (Hebrews 6:18). When the women came to the sepulchre early that first day of the week, they heard these words from the angel of the Lord:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke
to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of
sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” (Luke 24:5–7).
2. The Resurrection Declares the Identity of His Person
The Lord Jesus is either the Son of God or He is not. The resurrection proves conclusively that He is:
‘The gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the
resurrection from the dead’ (Romans 1:2-4).
The death of Christ led to His resurrection, and His resurrection led to His ascension, and His ascension led to His exaltation. Thus the apostle Peter declared to a Jewish audience that while Israel 'offically' rejected Jesus as their Messiah and Lord, God 'officially' recognized Him as both: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
3. The Resurrection Verifies the Value of His Death
The Lord Jesus suffered and died on the Cross to answer for our sins before God. His resurrection verifies the success of His finished work and the blessing it secures for all who believe in Him ‘who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification' (Romans 4:25).
4. The Resurrection Assures the Fulfillment of His Promise
The Lord Jesus promised He would come again for His people (John 14:3) and Paul stated that when He comes He will both raise the bodies of the dead and bring the living to Himself. The foundation and guarantee of this promise is indeed His death and resurrection. Thus the apostle Paul wrote these words to the believers in Thessalonica:
‘For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep
in Jesus … For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an
archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are
alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
5. The Resurrection Guarantees the Certainty of His Judgment
When the apostle Paul preached in the idolatrous city of Athens he began by reminding His audience that God is the Creator and Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth. He concluded by reminding them that He is also the judge of all men:
"Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like
gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of
ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has
appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has
ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:29-31).
Upon what does your hope for the future depend? - ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31).
Does the Resurrection Matter?
Among the many tragic events of recent history, what happened in America on September 11, 2001 is among the most shocking. On that now infamous day terrorists hijacked four civilian aircraft to use as weapons of mass murder. Two of those planes were directed toward the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. The first passenger Boeing 767 hit the North tower at 8:45am, and the second struck the South tower some twenty minutes later. Then at 9:59 am the South tower collapsed adding to the horror of an already dreadful situation, followed by the collapse of the North tower at 10:28 am.