“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”
With Easter just a few days off, many will rightly renew a sense of focus on the death of Jesus on the cross, an event of paramount importance to the Christian faith — indeed the whole world — for all time (Hebrews 2:9)! As we remember his work and sacrifice on our behalf, we should also stress the importance of his resurrection. In the Scriptures, when the sacrifice of Jesus is discussed, it meant for us to understand that his sacrificial death also encompasses his resurrection. The two are inextricably linked. Paul said that the resurrection validates Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, as well as our faith in him:
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins”
(1 Corinthians 15:14-17).
As we can see, the resurrection of Jesus is very important! A death without a resurrection would completely invalidate the very axis of what we believe as Christians. Without the resurrection, Jesus would be just another man who died. There would be nothing to separate him from other religious leaders, zealots, and despots who’ve claimed messiahship, yet who all remain in their tombs to this day. Likewise, without the resurrection, we would all be adherents to the teachings and memories of a dead man.
The resurrection of Jesus is the lynchpin of the Christian faith.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6:19-20 that Jesus was the forerunner of our faith. In other words, he was the first Man to enter into the presence of God via resurrection from the dead. He paved the way. He blazed the trail. He did this because of his resurrection. It’s interesting that the Greek word for forerunner is prodromos. This word was generally used of cavalry scouts who would go before the rest of the army in order to make sure they arrived in the right place at the right time, and free of danger. Jesus did this for us by his resurrection. His resurrection ensures that we arrive at our final destination with certainty.
I love to hike. Thankfully, people came before me and marked out the trail. They removed brush, cut through rock, built stairs, and put up trail markers so that I could arrive to my destination safely. This does not mean that I won’t stumble, grow tired, or that parts of the trail may be strenuous. That much is a given. If I were to go off the trail, the probability of getting lost, injured, or killed significantly increases.
Jesus, through his resurrection, has cleared, paved, and blazed a trail of safety for us.
Because he defeated death, so will we. Because he rose from the grave, so will we. Because he ascended to Heaven, so will we. Because he entered into the presence of the Father, so will we! We may encounter the last enemy (death), but we will arrive safely to our enternal destination.
We can rest assured. The Forerunner has went on before us to clear the path; to show the way; to say to us, “Because I did this, so will you.”
Resource: The Majority of Resurrection Passages in the New Testament (from Carm.org)