The Power and Significance of the Resurrection

5.22.23 Devo Image

“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 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 15:12–19 (NIV)

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that everything hinges on Jesus’ resurrection. So often, we focus all our attention on the cross. Of course, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross is supremely important. It was on the cross He paid the debt of our sins. But the cross is not the end of the story nor the greatest moment of triumph. If you really think about it, the cross of Christ was the darkest moment in history. Why? Because the perfect Son of God had to suffer and die a horrible death. 

But here’s the thing: If Jesus had simply died on the cross and the story ended there, we’d have no hope. In fact, apart from the resurrection, “your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. . . . we are of all people most to be pitied” Why? Theologian Albert Barnes put it this way: “The pardon of sin was connected with the belief of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and, if He was not raised . . . your sins are yet unpardoned. They can be forgiven only by faith in Him, and by the efficacy of His blood. But if He was not raised, He was an impostor; and, of course, all your hopes of pardon by Him, and through Him, must be vain.” 

Why is he saying all this? Because there were people in the Corinthian Church who were denying the reality of our resurrection “at the last day” (John 11:24 NIV), but still believing in the resurrection of Jesus. So, Paul breaks down how the resurrection of Jesus proves the principle of resurrection, which will become reality for us in the end.

You see, Jesus’ resurrection is evidence that the dominion of death is over and that God has power even over death! He then uses this teaching moment as an opportunity to declare the power of the gospel.

Remember, death was the penalty of sin given in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2. So, had Jesus just died on the cross with no resurrection, it would essentially prove that sin still had dominion because death would have won. But the resurrection of Jesus means that the power of sin had been destroyed and the debt of sin completely paid for. That’s the miracle of the resurrection and the power of Christ on full display! 

Finally, after thousands of years of periodic sacrifices of animals that stayed dead and only covered sins for a short time, a sacrifice for sins was offered that God fully accepted. This sacrifice, evidenced by the resurrection, shows us that the dominion of sin is broken and the penalty of sin has been removed for those who believe. 

We have hope because He stripped sin and defeated death of its power! We have victory because He conquered the grave! 1 Corinthians 15:56–57 (NIV) says, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and Ephesians 2:4–6 (NIV) declares, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” 

Walk in confidence and victory in this truth, friends!

Pause: How does the resurrection of Jesus prove that we will also experience resurrection on the last day?

Practice: According to Barna Research, more than 30 percent of professing Christians do not believe that Jesus “came back to physical life after He was crucified.” Friends, to be blunt, if you don’t believe in the resurrection, you are not a Christian, you are not saved, and you are still in your sin. If you have doubts about the resurrection of Jesus, please contact me. If you don’t, please pray this week for all those who profess Christianity but don’t believe in the resurrection, that the Holy Spirit would work in their mind and heart to reveal this truth to them.

Pray: Father, thank You for the resurrection, for displaying Your power and goodness in raising Christ from the dead and attaining victory over sin and death on our behalf. Thank You that I am not hopeless, that my faith is not futile. Thank You that my hope does not disappoint (Romans 5) and that I will not be put to shame in the end because the gospel of Jesus is truly Your power to save for all who believe (Romans 1). I pray for anyone who believes themselves to be saved but doesn’t believe in the resurrection. May Your Spirit reveal the truth to them so they may truly put their trust in You and in Your work. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.