I Believe in the Resurrection

Heidelberg Catechism: Question 45: How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?

Answer: First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, so that He might make us share in the righteousness He won for us by His death. Second, by His power we too are already now resurrected to a new life. Third, Christ’s resurrection is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.                

 

Observations: The Catechism explores what the Apostles’ Creed has to say about Jesus’ life, particularly focusing on his death and resurrection (Q&A 29-52). It’s interesting to note that the catechism doesn’t explore the historical nature of these events, but rather how they apply to us. For example it asks, ‘How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?’ The catechism presumes we believe that Jesus rose from the dead, it’s more interested in why Jesus rose from the dead? Firstly, ‘by His resurrection He has overcome death.’ The point of Jesus’ death was to pay the penalty for our sins, and Jesus’ resurrection is proof that the penalty has been paid in full, death has been overcome. The catechism adds ‘so that He might make us share in [his] righteousness.’ The Bible says that Jesus ‘was raised to life for our justification. (Rom 4:25)’ Just as Jesus was declared God’s Son through his resurrection, so we who put our faith in Him are also declared God’s children. Secondly, because Jesus rose from the dead ‘by His power we too are already now resurrected to a new life.’ Christ’s resurrection imparts a new life to those who are filled with his Spirit. Our old self has been crucified and we are now clothed with Christ. Thirdly, ‘Christ’s resurrection is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.’ Just as Jesus rose from the dead we can look forward to the resurrection when we receive new eternal bodies.

 

Application: When we put our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit applies his death and resurrection to our lives. Because Jesus was justified before God, so the Spirit justifies us before God. Because rose to a new life, so the Spirit breathes new life into us. Because Jesus rose, so we look forward to our resurrection. But most of all we are reminded that the penalty for our sin has been paid in full, and as death had no hold on Jesus, so it has no hold on us. We can live this new life in absolute confidence that it will last for all eternity.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You sent Jesus to die for my sins, but because He was Your Son, because He was innocent and undeserving of death, death could not keep its hold on Him, and You raised Him to life, confirming that he was indeed the Christ and that sin and death had been defeated. Lord, may I live my life in light of Jesus’ resurrection. May I share in His righteousness won for me. May I live this new life that You have given me through the Holy Spirit. May I look forward to the resurrection from the dead when I will see You face to face. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

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