When most people think of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they picture the cross. Jesus took our sins upon himself and died for us. This was the mark of real love and ultimate sacrifice. What would be different in the lives of Christians, or in the lives of everyone, if Jesus had just died on the cross and stayed dead?
We wouldn’t have the ability to have a relationship with him. We wouldn’t be able to call out to him when we felt like we had no one or nothing else left. We wouldn’t be able to read the Bible and feel like it’s living and active (Hebrews 4:12) because Jesus would have remained dead.
Our lives would be completely different. The ultimate message of the Gospel is Jesus’s death AND resurrection. His death would not completely change our eternity without his resurrection from the dead.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6)
I think it’s easy to think about Jesus’ resurrection like it’s just another miracle that happened, but it’s so much more than this.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for about 6 years. That’s made a significant impact on how I see God. I know that God is good and that the Gospel is real, but sometimes I question it because I’ve been in some very dark places. I think, “Well, if Jesus died for my sins and my afflictions, why do I still feel depressed or anxious?”
It’s hard for me to understand the answer to that question, but it helps to know that Jesus didn’t die to stay dead. He died and rose again, so that he could live life with us and be our source of strength. Even in our hardest times, he’s with us because he knows this life is hard. He lived it! We’re never alone. Even in the midst of feeling depressed or anxious, Jesus is alive and well within us.
In the midst of trials, pain, bad news, health problems, Jesus is alive and well within you. He is right in the middle of our pain. He doesn’t watch us feel pain; He wants to sit next to us and put his hand on our shoulder while reassuring us, “It’s going to be okay.” He is right in the middle of our hardships and our pain.
That’s what the resurrection means. Not only is Jesus alive, but we have been given a new life.