The cold dark grave could not hold Christ. The angels proclaimed on that first Easter morning, “He is not here. He is risen” (Matthew 28:6). The glorious resurrection of Christ authenticates all He came to be and accomplish by His life and in His death on the cross.
The cross of Christ – what love and grace; what amazing grace. For on the cross God in Christ did for us what we could not do for ourselves. At the cross Christ assumed for us the responsibility of satisfying the holy demands of God and assuming our judgment for not being able to comply.
The proof that Christ was who He said He was and that God accepted the Offering of Christ is that He raised Him from the dead. Paul writes of Jesus the He was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).
The resurrection of Christ is the indisputable proof that the life and work of Christ on the cross is accepted before a holy God as finished and complete. On the cross Jesus said of the work He came to do on behalf of God and man, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His resurrection is the confirmation that “it is finished.”
The author of Hebrews wonderfully states, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). That Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father indicates that His work on the cross was accepted, is finished, and completed. That He is alive at the right hand of the Father indicates He has risen from the dead as verification that His work of redemption is finished.
Christ’s rising from the sealed tomb is God’s exclamation point and seal of approval of who Christ was and what He accomplished. The two fold act of the cross and the resurrection is our faith’s center of gravity. At the cross Christ was our Sin-Bearer, Redeemer, Forgiver, Reconciler, Bestower of Grace, our Savior and Lord. In the resurrection of Christ the power of God was dramatically proclaimed when the angel is heard heralding, “He is not here: for He is risen” (Matthew 28:6).
Christ bore our sins in His body on the cross, winning redemption for us from the midst of judgment upon sin. His resurrection is evidence redemption was won and forgiveness provided. His work on the cross does not simply pluck us out of the hands of sin, but He delivers us unto the hands of righteousness. His resurrection enables us to find refuge in God’s righteous hands.
Christ of the cross is our foundation for living, and it is by Him we must continually adjust our compass. Yet more than our foundation, because of His glorious resurrection on that first Easter morning He is our daily source. His resurrected presence is with us each and every day.
The center point of God’s revelation to man is Christ on the cross which brightly shines to sinful man a new light to the path of life, and because of His resurrection we share in His great victory over sin, the devil, and the pangs of death. P.T. Forsyth writes as only he can, “The seat of chief power and authority in the universe is the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are one with Christ, not only on His cross, but in His resurrection. As we are one with Him in the likeness of His death, so we are in the likeness of His resurrection. The revelation of God in the Cross of Christ [and His resurrection] is its own reforming principle and its own cleansing light.”
It is Christ and His action on the cross and His resurrection which creates within us anew and enables us to see Jesus and His cross as the foundation and certainty for the hope of humanity. Christ was born as King. He went to the cross as King. He arose as King. As the Risen King, He beckons us to Himself. Embracing Him in faith is the soul’s laying hold of Christ as its only source of life, pardon and salvation. While the world wants a Christless cross, the Christ of the cross calls us out of sin unto newness of life.
When our eyes are open to what God in Christ has done for us on the cross, how can we not come and kneel in thanksgiving and worship, embracing Him as Lord and Savior? For God in Christ provides for us atonement, redemption, forgiveness in the historical events of the cross and His resurrection. And it is at the cross and the open tomb humanity can find a restored relationship, redemption, and the adoption as sons and daughters of the Most High God.
He is Risen! My, what a Savior we have! Unto Him all praise and glory belongs.