This chapter records the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection has been referred to as the “linchpin” of Christianity, simply meaning that the resurrection is what validates our faith. The disciples saw the empty tomb and the grave clothes that had been discarded. Jesus appear to Mary and calls her by name, and she recognizes Him as the Lord. Jesus appears to His disciples behind closed and locked doors. He commissions them in verse 21 and breathes His life into them. Thomas refers to Him as, “My Lord and my God.” John’s purpose in writing is summed up in verse 31, “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ renders His death on the cross effective and salvific. If He had not been raised to life again, His death would have been in vain. Paul makes the case in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ were not raised, we would still be in our sins. Because Christ is indeed raised, we too shall partake in His resurrection life. He has become the first fruits. The believer will one day experience a bodily resurrection. Disciples will be given new bodies, resurrection bodies like Christ’s. The resurrection of Jesus is the most monumental event in history. The empty tomb puts all of the world in a corner. Though the world ignores it, tries to explain it away, or denies it, the fact of Christ’s resurrection remains. And one day, the risen Jesus will appear at His return, and every eye will see Him as He comes in a cloud with power and great glory!
The truth of Christ’s resurrection brings us great confidence and hope today. As of right now, the ebola virus is spreading. ISIS is beheading Christians. The culture around me is becoming more dark by the day. Same-sex marriage is quickly becoming legal in most states. Yet the resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds me that my Lord is alive and that He is coming again one of these days to straighten everything out. I don’t have to live in fear or discouragement. I don’t have to be afraid of what might happen to me or what persecution I will face as a Christian. The resurrection life of Jesus is my focus and my strength. My Savior lives, and because He lives, I can face tomorrow! This truth motivates us to share the gospel and make disciples while we have time and opportunity. In fact, this was one of the first things that Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection. In verse 21, He says to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Disciples are sent out into the world with the glorious news that Jesus is alive!
Father, I am so very grateful for the resurrection life of Your Son. Jesus is alive, the tomb is empty, the enemy is defeated, and sin has lost its grip on me. Lord Jesus, You are the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in You, though he die, yet shall he live! Amen.