Jesus gave us the last supper on Thursday night—the very night he was betrayed. He suffered torture and death on Friday—a substitutionary death that paid the price for the sins of all who would ever place their faith and trust in Him for salvation. On Saturday His body lay lifeless in a cold, dark, sealed borrowed tomb. And, of course, on Sunday He was resurrected with power, receiving the vindication of the Heavenly Father.
His death on the cross is unique because of who He is—the sinless perfect Son of God: the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. No one else could accomplish what Jesus accomplished on the cross, because His perfect sacrifice came by virtue of His identity as God come to earth. His sacrifice was sufficient for the sin of all people, in all times and in all places who would put their faith and trust in Him and His work on the cross. His death was unique. One time. Once.
Here is one of the secrets of the resurrection: on that first Resurrection Sunday Jesus opened not only the tomb, He opened new possibilities for everyone who would follow Him. The resurrection was not only a supernatural event for Jesus, it also opened up the resources of heaven for all who would follow Him. Jesus opened the womb of heaven. Picture Him emerging from the garden tomb: something new came forth that day—the power of resurrection life operating in a human being. Resurrection life flowed into Jesus that day, but the Scripture reveals that it is now available to us as well:
“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” (Roman 8:11)
This verse is not about being raised up after we die, it’s about the power of the resurrection working in us now. Jesus was not only our model during earthly life, He is also a model of new creation operating in us even now: the nature and power of the resurrection dwell in each new child of God.
This is no mere formality. The womb of heaven has been opened by Jesus, and each believer has the potential to bring heaven to earth. Those who are born from above receive heaven’s DNA in them here and now. First Jesus, then us. Not only in resurrection from the dead, but also in empowerment for ministry.
HE IS RISEN…HE IS RISEN INDEED!