In spite of the tomb and the watch and the seal, in spite of death itself, the Man who had been laid in the place of death walked out alive after three days. That is the simple historical fact attested by more than 500 trustworthy persons, among them being a man who is said by some scholars to have had one of the mightiest intellects of all time. That man of course was Saul, who later became a disciple of Jesus and was known as Paul the apostle. This is what the church has believed and celebrated throughout the centuries.
Granted that this is all true, what does it or can it mean to us who live so far removed in space from the event and so far away in time? Several thousand miles and nearly two thousand years separate us from that first bright Easter morning. Apart from or in addition to the joy of returning spring and the sweet music and the sense of cheerfulness associated with the day, what practical significance does Easter have for us?
To borrow the words of Paul, “Much in every way!” (Romans 3:2). For one thing, any question about Christ’s death was forever cleared away by His resurrection. He “through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Also His place in the intricate web of Old Testament prophecy was fully established when He arose. When He walked with the two discouraged disciples after His resurrection, He chided them for their unbelief and then asked, “‘Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:26-27).
Then it should be remembered that He could not save us by the cross alone. He must rise from the dead to give validity to His finished work. A dead Christ would be as helpless as the ones He tried to save. He “was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25), said Paul, and in so saying declared that our hope of righteousness depended upon our Lord’s ability to beat death and rise beyond its power.
The preceding is an excerpt from The Size of the Soul by A.W. Tozer. Visit the Tozer online devotional and read today’s thought.