As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we must not forget the joy of the Resurrection (Matt. 28:1–10; Luke 24:36–53). What an incredible example of tremendous grief turned to overwhelming joy! After Jesus was executed, His followers were mourning and afraid. Would the authorities come for them next? Then the women brought an incredible tale—Jesus was alive! His grave was empty and the stone rolled away! Their lives, and indeed the entire world, had been turned upside down.
The fact that Jesus died and was resurrected is our hope and joy because Christ’s resurrection guarantees our own! To rejoice in the hope of resurrection is an act of faith. From God’s perspective, it has already been accomplished. Christ is “the firstborn from among the dead” (Col. 1:18). There will be many to follow, including ourselves.
Paul asked, “What if there is no resurrection?” (1 Cor. 15:13–18). In that case, Christ has not been raised, our faith is useless, and the gospel is false. If this were true, we’re not saved, and the dead will stay dead. Without the truth and doctrine of the resurrection, we cannot have hope or faith in Christ (v. 19). If this life is all there is, and death is the end, then death and sin have won.
On the other hand, if Christ did rise from the dead, then so will we (vv. 20–23). In this case, our faith is powerful, the gospel is true, we’re saved from sin, and proclaiming the good news of Christ is our greatest privilege and responsibility. He has won the victory, all praise and glory to Him!
>> It may seem odd to read about the resurrection at Christmas. But we can more fully appreciate the story of Jesus’ birth when we know the ending. Today, we thank God for the joy of His birth and the joy of His resurrection which conquered the grave once and for all.
As Christ was resurrected, so are we raised with Him. Thank you, Father, for the resurrection and the new life you give us. Because Christ lives, we have assured faith, confident joy, and guaranteed hope.