by Scarlett Stough
When some of Jesus' women disciples came to anoint Jesus' body early on Sunday morning, they were told by angels:
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'”
God's justice is a part of who he is. Evil must be punished. God knew before he created us, we would make sinful choices which lead to death. He knew we would need rescuing and had a plan; he would bear the penalty for all our sins. He gave his body to suffering and death for that purpose. We can accept his offering or we can reject it—our choice.
But then what? We are still mortal, still subject to death and decay. Taking away the sins is only one part of the plan.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:13-20
Every stage of Jesus' life—birth, life in total submission to the Father, lived without any sin, his execution in our place, paying our debt of sin, his resurrection and ascension back to the Father as our Elder Brother and High Priest—is important for our deliverance from sin and eternal death.
Only in Christ, joined with him through belief in who he is and what he has done, can we have a future which includes greater joy than any depth of sorrow or loss we may experience now: “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20).