There’s hardly a more important question: Why did Jesus rise from the dead?
Over the past six weeks, we’ve studied this question in each of the Gospels. Each writer had an audience and a purpose in mind. In four separate articles, we’ve explored what each writer was trying to communicate.
We tried to observe the text carefully. We noticed the titles given to Jesus, the reactions of those who saw the empty tomb, the descriptions of those at the grave site, and even the time of day. All of these details are in the Bible intentionally, and they help direct us to the main point of the passage.
We leaned heavily on the context of each resurrection account. What was said about Jesus and what was done to Jesus in his trial and crucifixion matters when the writer turns to the resurrection. Even more, the writer’s purpose in penning the book drives the entire narrative. A book overview is crucial, even when studying a short passage near the end.
What Does the Resurrection Mean?
Though each gospel is slightly different, in all four passages this much is clear: the resurrection is massively important. It changed the women, it changed the disciples, and it should change us as well.
As we look back over the main point of each account of the resurrection, let’s do the hard work of application. I’ll pose some questions; let’s give ourselves to prayerful consideration, that we might be doers of the word and not merely hearers (James 1:22–25). Let’s pray that God would use the resurrection to change us, our churches, and our communities.
Matthew’s main point: The risen Jesus is the gracious king of the Jews, the Messiah.
- Do you worship Jesus as the risen king (as the women did)? Or are you content with religious-looking activities?
- How can you bring the message of the risen Jesus to comfort and restore others? How will you use the resurrection to remind yourself and others of the forgiveness God offers?
- Do you know the grace of Jesus? Are you becoming a more gracious person as you follow this gracious king?
Mark’s main point: The King has come, but he is not here; so everything must change.
- In your personal worship, do you tremble in God’s presence? In what ways have you turned away from a proper sense of awe?
- Jesus is the king who rules the world—what are the implications for your work? How will this influence your attempts to get to know your neighbors? How does this affect your views on politics?
- In what ways should you be seeking Jesus in his word? How can you help your closest friends trust in Jesus instead of wealth, pleasure, or safety?
Luke’s main point: Jesus is the innocent Son of Man, raised from the dead for the whole world.
- How does Jesus’s innocence change the way you think about your sin?
- Jesus was raised for the world—how does this affect your giving? How does this influence your church’s budget?
- The message of Jesus’s resurrection is for everyone inside and outside of the church. How can you help your Christian friends remember Jesus’s work? How can you introduce your non-Christian friends to Jesus’s work?
John’s main point: Jesus truly is the Son of God, the Messiah who makes all things new, the source and essence of life. You can trust him with your life.
- How are you listening to what Jesus says to you? How are you announcing this to those around you?
- As Jesus makes all things new, what are the “old ways” that need to be replaced in your life? How is Jesus making your church community new?
- What do you look to for life? What excites your church the most—is it the good news of Jesus, or the health of its programs, budget, attendance, building, or reputation?
God’s Rich Word
All four Gospel writers want us to know that Jesus rose from the dead. This is the revolutionary truth that changed the world.
But in the context of each Gospel, the resurrection points to a slightly different face of the diamond. We see Jesus the King, Jesus the innocent, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the gracious.
God’s word is wonderfully rich. By studying carefully, we can learn what each inspired account has to say.