How the resurrection of Jesus can restore faith
Of all the subjects in the Bible, I think that the resurrection of Jesus is the most important, because it touches on God’s character, the work of his son Jesus, the meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus, the topic itself (Jesus’ own raising from the dead), and our own resurrection. I do not know of any other Bible topic that impacts on the significance of so many others, in nearly the same way as this topic does.
Primarily, God is love. This is chiefly seen in the fact that God intended, right from the beginning, to deliver humankind away from our fate of death, and give us instead a destiny of life. However, that way was one which gave honour to the supremacy of God, and on God’s own terms. He chose to conquer death with immortality in a way that demonstrated that life could be chosen (by Jesus), in the same way that sin (which leads to death) was chosen (by Adam).
The work of Jesus
Jesus’ work was, as indicated by the above, to reflect the love of God. Jesus was such a perfect example of the character of God, so much so that it could be said of Jesus that whoever had seen him had seen God. In everything he did, whether by his actions in general, his miracles in particular, or in his words, he demonstrated to others what humanity could be like if we were to live as God’s people: if we spoke His words, did His works, and lived by His definition of justice.
The meaning of his sacrifice
Jesus’ ultimate work was to die as a sacrifice for sin, yet although he was physically connected to sin (through his mortality derived by reason of inheritance from his mother, Mary), he could not deserve its consequence (death), and so after three days, was resurrected. This showed that God is always just in the application of His laws.
The resurrection of Jesus
Jesus’ own raising from the dead was a miracle attested to by many first-hand eye-witnesses that knew beyond any doubt that Jesus had died and was buried, yet somehow was risen again. He himself, knowing the certainty of Bible prophecies, had predicted this. The resurrection of Jesus is, to my mind, the supreme miracle of the Bible. It had been prophesied, along with the events surrounding it, and is the longest-lasting, in that Jesus since then, has lived always and will do so for ever. There are several other resurrections from the dead recorded in the Bible, but none of these reflect these attributes.
Our own resurrection
God has promised eternal life on the earth. His promise to Abraham and his descendants of inheriting all the land that he could see, forever, means that in order for this promise to be fulfilled, God must also raise from the dead those to whom He has made these promises.
The accounts of the events of Jesus’ resurrection are found in the New Testament Gospel records of Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John chapters 20 and 21. The link between Jesus’ resurrection and our own personal hope of the same is explained in 1 Corinthians 15. Read any of these passages in any version you choose, and the message is the same.
There are many things in this life, and many situations that arise, that may cause us to lose our faith in the Bible, but I find that for me, the most faith-restoring times, are when I contemplate the resurrection of Jesus. I think of the immense faith it took on the part of the disciples to believe in it, and how they were so utterly convinced of its truthfulness. I then contemplate the link from this, to my own salvation and deliverance from death, involving my own resurrection if I have died before Jesus returns to the earth. When I consider this and all it means, my doubts dissolve.