The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:4 that Jesus was declared “the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” He did not become the Son of God as a result of the resurrection. Rather, the resurrection demonstrated the fact that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.
During a recent Bible study where we were discussing the resurrection of Jesus I thought of the analogy of writing a check. Jesus claimed to have power over death, he claimed that he would die and then rise again. Using the analogy of writing a check, Jesus wrote a large check to us when he promised that we could be raised to new life.
The analogy of a check
If I wrote you a check for a million dollars and you went to the bank to cash it, after the branch manager stopped laughing, he would inform you that I do not have sufficient funds to cover the check. By writing that check, I would have made a promise that I could not keep.
Now, if Bill Gates wrote that check, the story would have a different ending. He could make such a promise because he has the ability to keep the promise that the check represents
The fact that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead proves that he had sufficient funds to cover that check. He made a promise and proved that he has the ability to keep that promise.
I’ve heard Ravi Zacharias make the point on several occasions that Jesus could have taken the easy route and promised that he would rise in a spiritual sense. Whether or not anyone rises spiritually is not a subject for empirical verification. There would have been no opportunity to falsify Jesus’ claim.
Jesus did not say he would rise spiritually, he promised that he would rise physically. If, he would not have actually done so, all of his promises and teaching would then become suspect. All the enemies of Christ had to do was present a body and Christianity would never have gotten a start.
Why this matters
If (since) Jesus proved his mastery over death, we can live with a different perspective as we meander through this life. At the end of his discussion of the resurrection and its importance in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:55–58, ESV)
As a result of this knowledge we are to be steadfast. We are to be immovable. Sure, we are not always this way, but when we are not, it is because we have lost sight of who God is and what he has promised to do for us.
The funds to cover the check have been in the bank waiting.