For an introduction to the series, read this.
We come again to another phrase from the Apostles’ Creed:
Memorization for the Week
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
The third day he rose from the dead.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
When God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, what did he say would happen to them if they did? He told them that if they ate from that tree, they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Of course, we know that they did, in fact, eat from the tree, and God sent them out of the garden and cut them off from another tree, the tree of life, which would have kept them alive forever if they had been able to eat from it. Ever since then, people have been dying because when Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden, we were all driven out with them. None of us have access to the kind of life they would have had if they had been able to stay in the garden.
What that means is that death is a punishment for sin. Human beings die because we are sinful and cut off from God. And when Jesus died, as we discussed last week, he died as a punishment for sin. It wasn’t his own sin in that case, but it was a punishment for our sins. Now, imagine if Jesus had remained dead in the grave. If that had happened, we would have to say that Jesus remained under the punishment for sin forever. And if Jesus remains under it forever, so do all of his people, because whatever Jesus receives, they also receive. Would it do us any good to be joined to a dead man, one who remains under God’s punishment? If he himself could not escape the punishment for sin, how could we expect him to deliver us from it?
But this is where the resurrection comes in. We know the story did not end with Jesus in the tomb. He was placed there on a Friday evening, but the following Sunday morning, when the women came to anoint his body, the stone was rolled away, and he was gone. Then he appeared to a number of different people, alive from the dead! That means the punishment for sin is over. Jesus paid it all, and there is nothing left to pay! Because he has been delivered from death, he can deliver you from it too if you trust in him. Because he has been raise from the dead, never to die again, Jesus now has the kind of life Adam and Eve would have had if they had been able to remain in the garden and eat from the tree of life.
And that’s why the resurrection is such good news. What has happened to Jesus will also happen to all who believe in Jesus, and we will share eternal life with him in resurrected bodies on a new creation. That means that we should not be afraid to lose our lives for Jesus in this world. Whatever the world might take from you for following him, you will have far, far more in the resurrection. So make Jesus your greatest treasure, and follow him no matter how much it costs you now. Nothing is more important than that.
Scripture readings for the week: Matthew 28; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15