Why We Need the Resurrection
Why We Need the Resurrection
Our family lives at Costco. We get most of our food, supplies, furniture, and fashion from the monstrous piles in the Costco warehouse.
After you pay for your 500-roll packs of toilet paper and 50-gallon drums of mayo, you head for the door. You’re ready to get all your stuff into your car and get home. But there’s an obstacle in your way.
There’s a guy at the door who stops you. He’s looking at you all suspicious, like you’re a criminal. With this guy, you’re guilty until proven innocent. He wants you to prove that you’ve paid for everything in your wagon.
So what do you need to give this guy to prove that you paid for everything in your wagon? The receipt. You give him your receipt, and you say, “See? I’m not a criminal!” After he looks at your receipt, everything changes. He smiles at you. If you got little kids he draws a little smiley face on the receipt. He throws you a shaka and he says “Have a great day!”
Your receipt proves that your stuff is paid for. And according to Paul, that’s what the resurrection of Christ is like. The resurrection is the receipt that proves your sin is paid for.
As Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). In other words, if you have faith in God’s love and grace, then it’s blind and worthless faith without the resurrection.
Yes, God poured out grace on Christmas Day, when he lowered himself to become human. And yes, he poured out grace on Good Friday, when he lowered himself into the grave to pay for your sin. He kept lowering himself and lowering himself, and it all would have been for nothing if he didn’t rise up from the grave on Easter Sunday. That’s what proved his grace was effective.
Without the resurrection, Christianity falls apart. Because if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then he’s not God and he didn’t pay for our sins. But the good news is, Jesus did rise from the dead. He was resurrected! And that’s what proves that your sins were completely paid for.
Some people think they’re beyond God’s grace. Some people think they’ve sinned too much. Fallen into the same sin too many times. Hurt too many people. Caused too much damage. But the resurrection says God’s grace is fully effective: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Whenever you aren’t sure that God could really love you, with everything you’ve done? Just pull out your receipt. Remember the resurrection. The resurrection says your sins are paid in full. All your sins! All the sins in your past and all the sins your future. There’s nothing you can do that’s beyond God’s grace. He paid for it all.
And it gets even better. Yes, you had a debt you could never pay. And yes, Jesus paid your debt in full. But he didn’t just leave you there. He didn’t just leave a zero balance in your account. He made a deposit into your account, and put you in the positive! He deposited his life. He deposited his righteousness. He deposited his strength.
That’s why Paul says, “His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Cor 15:10). In other words, the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Christ is what gave him the strength to keep moving forward. To grow and mature. To serve the people around him. To be a blessing to the world.
When you’re feeling worn out? Depressed? Ashamed? Unmotivated? Just pull out your receipt.