The ancient question of Job, “If a man die, shall he live again?,” remains the fundamental question haunting all men today. Although recent advances in genetics, surgery, agriculture, space exploration, and other scientific fields lead some to speculate that man will one day be able to control his own destiny, the brutal reign of death reminds every man of his ultimate fate. He is surrounded by evidence of physical and spiritual death. Physical death overtakes him through war, violence, catastrophe, accident, disease, or deterioration of the body. Spiritual death is seen in man’s egocentric existence lived in rebellion against his Creator, his failure to dwell in peace with his fellows, his inability to master his passions and live up to the demands of his own conscience. Dwelling in spiritual darkness and facing an inevitable grave, man can find no way out of his predicament. Then in the providence of God the darkness is pierced by the lightbringing words of Jesus Christ: “Because I live, you shall live also.” And on the Sunday after his Friday crucifixion, Jesus Christ, true to his word, bursts the bonds of death. His resurrection is announced by God’s messengers at the empty tomb: “He is not here—he is risen!”

The triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ, together with his vicarious death on the cross, is the heart of the Gospel. In the cross is seen the greatness of God’s love for rebellious man. In the resurrection is demonstrated God’s power over sin and death. Without the resurrection, life is absurd and men have absolutely no hope; but because of it, life has eternal meaning, and men who believe are assured a victorious present and a glorious future.

The reality of God’s mighty act in raising Jesus from the dead is ...

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