What the Resurrection Means For Christians

jesus-christ-resurrection

Jesus’ resurrection carries with it the validity of Jesus’ claims. Because He was resurrected, Christians can be assured that a route to salvation has been established and that Christ’s blood is sufficient for the atonement of sins. Robert Imbelli states: “There is simply no Christian faith without the density of real presence. If Christ be not raised, preaching and faith alike are useless, empty, and vain.”[1] Most importantly, it reveals to Christians that they can receive the Holy Spirit[2]. In Acts 2:38, Peter gives a speech after the enabling of the Holy Spirit in which he states: “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”[3]

Here, Peter emphasizes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The fact that he addresses them separately further indicates the existence of the Holy Trinity. Darrell Bock contends: “Peter presents forgiveness and the Spirit as the principal gifts of God that Jesus provides; he is the entryway into a life with God.”[4] Bock’s insight is welcome and indeed correct. Here we see that forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit are both gifts from God that Christ mediates to us through His death and resurrection. There is no other source for salvation[5].

Bock states: “The Spirit is, in a real sense, the “gift” that makes salvation what it should be for one’s relationship to God (Acts 2:39-40). The bestowal of the Spirit on both Jews and Gentiles gives evidence that God treats everyone the same and calls on all to respond to Jesus (Acts 10:34-43).”[6] Surely this is a very important concept to look at. Christ’s resurrection brings the world together and unites us by His blood. Imbelli provides another insightful comment on this idea: “the goal intended by Christ’s redemptive love is the gathering of the whole body, the ‘many’ of the new covenant in his blood.”[7]

The resurrection also carries meaning for the daily lives of Christians. When Jesus was resurrected, He showed us that we are not alone. He may have only appeared resurrected for forty days[8], but we can carry that idea into a broader scope. These appearances show that Christ desires an intimate fellowship with Christians and gives a sense of confirmation that He is always by our side. In this sense, it seems fitting that the main character in Acts is God and His plan[9]. So we can see that the death and resurrection of Christ was not an end, but a new beginning for all of us who fall under the lure of sin. Bock certainly affirms this point of view when he states: “The Spirit’s presence at Pentecost was a visible indication that the new era of the Messiah has arrived (Luke 3:15-17; 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8).”[10]


[1] Imbelli, Robert P. “Resurrection & Real Presence: To be in Christ is to Live in Communion.” Commonweal 117, no. 7 (Apr 06, 1990). p. 211.

[2] Bock, Darrell L.  Acts, From the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.  1st ed.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academics, 2007. p. 144.

[3] NIV Translation. We find in the beginning of Acts that the power of the Holy Spirit is given to the disciples and they are given the ability to speak in foreign tongues which enables them to preach to various cultures (Acts 2:1-12). In my opinion, this is a gift given to the disciples to begin fulfillment of Acts 1:8.

[4] Bock, p. 141.

[5] Note Acts 1:5. Jesus notes that the Holy Spirit will bring the gift to the disciples.

[6] Bock, p. 36.

[7] Imbelli, p. 211.

[8] Bock, p. 49., Acts 1:3

[9]Bock,  p. 2.

[10] Ibid. p. 36.

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charlestinsley

My name is Charlie Tinsley and I blog about The Bible. In particular, I post my thoughts, commentaries, and Bible Study teachings I have done. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Science in Religion Summa Cum Laude with a Biblical Studies Minor. I am currently studying for a Masters In Divinity at Eastern Mennonite Seminary with PhD ambitions in the study of Theology. I am married and have been for several years and I currently reside in Virginia.

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