When God raised Jesus from the dead, God proved that everything Jesus had claimed about himself was true. He wasn’t just a remarkable and inspirational teacher who died an unfortunate death. He wasn’t just a man who offered forgiveness from sin. Rather, the resurrection demonstrates that Jesus was who he said he was. He was God-with-us. And he didn’t just die for us. He didn’t just die for the forgiveness of sin. He died to overcome, once and for all, the impact that sin has on all of us. Remember that line, “the wages of sin is death.” Jesus took those wages. He was paid with death. And yet, because he was the only human being who had ever lived with God in fullness, death didn’t have the same power over Jesus as it had over the rest of us. God’s love is stronger than death. God’s power and grace and hope and joy and goodness triumphs, even over death. So after Jesus willingly entered into death on behalf of human sinners, on behalf of you and me, after Jesus willingly died, God raised him from the dead.
The resurrection validates the Christian story. It is the resurrection that makes me believe in the Christian message rather than the story of evolutionary biology or any other way to explain the world. And the resurrection also ushers in what is perhaps the most important part of the Christian message. Because of the resurrection, new life, life with God is possible, for us.