Jesus is Risen! The Importance of Easter

Jesus is Risen! The Importance of Easter March 31, 2024

Hope Is Risen graphic created by the author
Hope Is Risen graphic created by the author

In the church we talk a lot about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and rightfully so. The perfect Son of God laid down His life to save sinners like you and me. It’s the most significant death in history—the death of the most important person every to live. Think about what that really means. If Jesus died for our sins, then the most important person ever to live, laid down His life because you were worth it to Him. That’s hugely important. It’s an act of eternal significance, but that’s the importance of Good Friday. The importance of Easter is the fact that Jesus is Risen!

The Most Important Holiday

If you asked most people, at least in the parts of the world most influenced by Christianity, “What is the most important holiday?” I think most people would say Christmas, for a number of reasons, not all of which are spiritual. It’s the holiday that takes the retailers into the black, the day when many get presents, and of course it’s the day we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Clearly the birth of Christ is the impetus for what comes next, but is Christmas truly the most important holiday? I would say, “No.” Following the story of the Gospel, the purpose of Christmas is Good Friday, and the purpose of Good Friday is Easter. 

Half the Story

Sharing the Gospel is immensely important. Telling people that Jesus loves them so much that He died for them is big part of the story. That being said, telling people Jesus died for them, leaves Him on the cross, or at least in the tomb. That’s only half the story. The importance of Easter is the resurrection. It’s not just that Jesus died, although, again, that’s important. Yes Jesus died on the cross, but in the Roman Empire that was nothing new. The Romans put many to death on crosses. What was significant was that Jesus didn’t stay dead. The importance of Easter is that Jesus is risen.

Paul Said It This Way…

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, a teaching had come into the church in Corinth that there is no resurrection of the dead, and Paul was combatting it when he wrote.  “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:12-14 ESV) It’s true. The cornerstone of the Christian faith is Christ and I would argue the cornerstone of the Gospel is His resurrection. Without Easter and the resurrection, Christianity is without a point. 

Scripture Points to Resurrection: The Sign of Jonah

When Jesus was asked for a sign to prove He was the Messiah, He said, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39-40 ESV) The Old Testament prophet Jonah’s story points us to the resurrection.  

Tearing the Temple Down

At another time, after Jesus cleansed the temple. The Jewish people asked for a sign to demonstrate Jesus’ authority to do what He had just done. He replied, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (John 12:19-21 ESV) Later when Jesus was on trial before the chief priests, they misquoted this statement to condemn Him to death as a blasphemer. 

David Pointed to the Resurrection Too 

In Psalm 16:8-10 (ESV), David foretold the resurrection too, nearly a thousand years before it happened. “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” Basically this calls it out. Death would not defeat Jesus and the grave could not hold Him. Yes, He would die, but He would not decay. He would rise again. That is truly good news, and these are just three of the many times where the Bible proclaims Jesus’ coming resurrection. 

Paul Continues His Case for the Resurrection

In the next part of Paul’s discussion of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:15-17 ESV), he speaks to the fact that if there is no resurrection, then, We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” If Christ has not been raised, the Scriptures have not been fulfilled and we’re following a dead man and placing our faith in someone who is no longer alive and the dead can do nothing for us.

Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness, the Importance of Easter

Essentially if Jesus isn’t risen, your faith is futile, there is no one to save you, so eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. What a hopeless situation that would be. Yet that is what many people chose to believe and the way many chose to live, I believe we see that borne out in much of our culture. Paul saw the hopelessness in this way of thinking when He wrote, “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:18-19 ESV) By the nihilistic view so many follow, the dead are dead, and gone and faith can do nothing for us. 


It is said that if you put the word “but” in a sentence, it negates everything that comes before it, and that is the case here. Paul has left us hanging in the hopelessness long enough and here comes our hope. In 1 Corinthians 15:20 (ESV) He tells us, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. “This is incredibly hopeful. If Christ stayed dead, we are all without hope… BUT if Jesus did in fact rise again, that changes everything not just for Him but for all of us. 

Resurrection Is Not Just for Jesus

1 Corinthians 15:21-23 (ESV) “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Translation, if Jesus died for our sins, and then rose again, He is the first of many. Yes, He died for all of our sins—the perfect sacrifice for all sins, but all who place their faith in Him will rise to Him and receive eternal life. His death on the cross is hugely important, but it’s only half the story. The Importance of Easter is the Resurrection. The importance of Easter is Jesus is risen and through faith in Him, so shall we rise. 

Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! Happy Easter!

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