What does the resurrection have to do with salvation?

Jesus' resurrection proves that He is God and that everything He said was true. If He only died, but never came back to life, there would be no chance of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:14). Why? Because His death would be nothing more than the death of a human liar. Without His coming back to life, there would be no proof that He is God, and therefore any promises He made would simply be lies that we should not put our faith in.

However, because He IS God and DID rise from the dead, this proves He told the truth. Every person has sinned (Romans 6:23; Romans 3:23), and since God is a God of justice, for every crime there must be punishment. Jesus never sinned (1 Peter 2:22), yet He died a sinner's death for YOU (1 John 2:2), suffered God's wrath for YOU (Romans 5:6-11), taking the punishment for YOUR sin. And because He never sinned, He couldn't be condemned to eternal death for it—like we would be. And because He is God, He resurrected Himself. The very fact that Jesus resurrected proves His promises to be true.

How We are Justified Through Christ

Now, that leads us to justification. We are guilty of our sin until a penalty is paid. That is what Jesus did. If He had been just a human liar, then His sacrifice would have meant nothing. We would all still be guilty of our sin and owe God the penalty of eternal death. But since Jesus paid that price for us, once we acknowledge that this is what we believe and receive Jesus as our Savior from that penalty, then God makes us righteous again, taking away the penalty we owe AND making us heirs to His Kingdom!

"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..." —John 1:12

If you’re placing submissive, trusting faith in Christ, then you most certainly can trust that He will make good on His promises (Hebrews 4:16).

Jesus used the expression "it is finished" from the cross. His death paid the penalty. Period. So, in that sense, the resurrection was not "necessary" for our sins to be covered. But the resurrection did prove that Jesus was the sinless, divine Savior whom He’d claimed to be. Keep in mind that Jesus promised He’d be resurrected as well (Matthew 16:21), so showing Himself alive after being crucified was part of keeping His word.

The Resurrection Reveals Jesus' Divinity

Not to make a silly comparison, but let's consider a magic trick using a deck of playing cards. Imagine I ask you to pick out a card from a deck, then shuffle it, and predict that I can find your card. Then I look through the deck and take out a card, but I don’t show it to you. Then I say, "I found your card," and walk away. Did I really find your card? Logically, whether I show you the card or not has nothing to do with whether I found it. But showing the card gives you good reason to believe me. I’m not "accomplishing" the trick when I show you the card—I already found it, and that was the magic trick. But without the reveal, you might not trust that I really did it.

When I find your card in the deck, the "trick" is successful—but the reveal is what allows people to know it really happened. Jesus was a sinless, divine, perfect sacrifice when He died on the cross. What He suffered there completely paid the entire penalty for human sin. His resurrection is the proof of that payment. It’s the clear, established evidence that tells the universe that what Jesus claimed about His role in salvation, and all His prior teaching, was true.

The cross is the payment; the resurrection is the receipt!

ALSO SEE:

TL;DR

Jesus' resurrection proves that He is God and that everything He said was true. If He only died, but never came back to life, there would be no chance of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:14). Why? Because His death would be nothing more than the death of a human liar. Without His coming back to life, there would be no proof that He is God, and therefore any promises He made would simply be lies we cannot trust. But Jesus was a sinless, divine, perfect sacrifice when He died on the cross. His suffering and death completely paid the entire penalty for human sin. His resurrection is the proof of that payment. The fact that Jesus came back to life is the clear, established evidence that tells the universe that what Jesus claimed about His role in salvation, and all His prior teaching, was true. The cross is the payment; the resurrection is the receipt!

Writer: Jeff Laird

Jeff is a staff writer with Got Questions Ministries and used to be a mechanical engineer. When he's not accidentally setting things on fire in his workshop, or petting strange dogs, he loves helping people better understand God’s Word and how it applies to our lives. Jeff's calling is to untangle the "big picture" of Christian faith, making it easier to understand.

Writer/Editor: Catiana (Cat)

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She is known as 412teens on the 412teens Discord. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not cooking, gardening, or practicing creativity, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this comment section is to encourage healthy Christian community for teens around the world. All comments are moderated, so yours will show up as "awaiting moderation" every time. (Sorry!) ALL bullying, hateful, or misleading comments WILL be deleted. Jerks will be banned. (Not sorry.) Views/opinions expressed by commenters do not necessarily reflect those of 412teens.org or Got Questions Ministries.

Want to ask your own question?

click this