Jesus left all heavenly glory behind and came to the earth in flesh to save mankind. He was born in a stable and lived all His life in poverty. He was scourged and wore the thorny crown. He shed His blood and died a miserable death on the cross.
He had no spot and no blemish, but Jesus was mocked in many kinds of ways, despised, and crucified to redeem us from our sins. Because of Jesus’ love transcending justice, the way to salvation was opened for all mankind.
Jesus was sinless so He could overcome death on the third day after His burial and finally resurrected. I hope you will be filled with hope for resurrection by realizing the love of the Lord from your hearts. In this lesson, let’s delve into the spiritual meaning of resurrection in three aspects.
- Resurrection has the meaning of ‘true life’.
Romans 6:23 reads, “The wages of sin is death”. That is, according to the spiritual law, if one sins, there is no other way than death. All people are the descendants of Adam who sinned. Throughout generations and after birth they inherit sinful natures and commit various kinds of sins in their lives. That is why Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, not even one.” As said, since all people are sinners, there is no one but Jesus who can solve the problem of sins.
Jesus saved mankind who was destined to death. In order to redeem all men from sins, the sinless Jesus died on the cursed cross, and He rose from the dead on the third day, overcoming death. Anyone who believes this message of the cross and accepts Jesus as their Savior can gain eternal life and not face death due to sins.
1 Corinthians 15:22 reads, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” But today many people don’t believe Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. They think the earthly life is all. They live to achieve their goals, or for success, wealth, or some kind of satisfaction. They don’t acknowledge an afterlife.
The death that sinners have to face does not mean just the fleshly death, which is the physical death of their bodies, but also includes spiritual death, which is the eternal punishment in Hell. In fact, we were subject to such death, but the Lord gave us true life. Anyone can be saved by faith and enjoy heavenly life forever without seeing death.
Until now there have been many people who have been saved but died. The Bible doesn’t say these people are dead, but ‘asleep’. 1 Corinthians 15:20 reads, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” Here, “those who are asleep” refer to people who believed in the Lord on the earth and passed away. They will resurrect and meet the Lord in the air before the believers who are alive will be transformed into imperishable body and meet the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” The dead body of those who were saved and buried will transform into spiritual body and unite with spirit and soul who will come down with the Lord. Verse 17 that follows says, “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” In other words, people who will have been saved and won’t experience physical death will be changed and caught up into the air. They will put on the resurrected body which is forever imperishable.
- Resurrection also has the meaning of ‘True Love’
Jesus was crucified to save all people who were destined to die thereby giving them eternal life and Heaven. He loved them not just with word but also with deeds. And His resurrection demonstrates His love is true. The wages of sin is death but Jesus had no sin at all, so He couldn’t be bound to death and was resurrected.
Therefore, His resurrection proves that Jesus loved us so much that He died on behalf of us sinners even though He Himself had no sin at all. His resurrection also shows the great love of God the Father.
By committing sin of disobedience, Adam turned his back on the love of God. As a result, Adam became a man of flesh, who couldn’t help meeting with death according to a spiritual law. Adam was a sinner and all people who have come from him were also sinners and doomed to death.
In order to solve this problem of sin, God prepared Jesus since before the ages. When an opportune time came, He sent His only begotten Son, whom He loved exceedingly, and gave Him up to sinners for death. Even though people sinned, God loved them so much that He solved the problem of sin by sacrificing His only begotten Son.
What is the fundamental reason that God put forth the providence of salvation of the cross? It is to gain true children who share the glory of God together with Him. He wanted to give them Heaven and eternal life and to share true love with them forever. For these people, He preplanned everything and sent His only begotten Son at the right time and allowed His Son to take the suffering of the cross and rise again. By doing so, God explicitly demonstrated His love.
This true love is still shown today even after around 2,000 years have passed. It is the true love of the Holy Spirit given to us. When we accept Jesus Christ and believe He was crucified and resurrected for us, the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts. Then, the Holy Spirit revives our spirits who were dead, and we are born again as children of God. While living according to the Word of God by the Holy Spirit’s help, our spirits are renewed by the Holy Spirit and grow up as God’s true children.
The highest level of love is shown when one lays down his life for others. Jesus demonstrated the greatest love by taking the cross for us who were sinners. And He confirmed His love is true by overcoming death and resurrecting.
- Resurrection means ‘True Faith’
Jesus believed that God would accomplish the providence of salvation through the cross. So, He obeyed the will of God with joy and completely fulfilled the providence of salvation by taking the cross.
During His ministry on this earth, Jesus was sometimes persecuted for no reason and His life was sometimes threatened. In the suffering of the cross, He was left completely alone because God turned His face from Him. This is because Jesus had to bear the cross on the behalf of all sinners and bore all kinds of sins they committed on His shoulders. However, Jesus perfectly trusted God even until the last moment of His life on the cross. He believed that He would resurrect after the crucifixion and enjoy great glory with God.
If we perfectly trust God like Jesus did, we can live in faith without compromising with the world. To put complete trust in God, we have to believe that God will also allow us to rise and give us Heaven.
Those with this true faith will not put their hope on this world and any things of the world because they know they stay in this world for a short while. They don’t love the world that will perish and disappear but they hope for eternal Heaven. So, they strive to cast away sins and become sanctified. In any kind of sufferings, they work faithfully to the point of death for the kingdom of God and they faithfully and steadfastly serve the Lord without changing their mind.
I urge you to put firm trust in God who will let us come forth to a resurrection of life when even in hardship and persecutions and have hope for the glory that will be given to us on the final day. If you are being persecuted though you have committed no sin, God will pour blessings upon you through the persecutions.
Isaiah 49:15-16 says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
God loves you us that He gave His only begotten Son on the cross for us. He inscribed us on the palms of His hands and never forgets us. I hope you will be filled with hope for resurrection by engraving the love of the Father and the Lord’s cross.