1. The Resurrection of Jesus is his return to bodily life.
Resurrection is the return of the body to life. In his life Jesus had a human body and that body returned from the grave. Resurrection is a movement to a new state: “indestructible life.” It is bodily life that is imperishable and now immortal life in the body. The resurrection body can never die or come under the curse of sin. Resurrection does not mean ‘spiritual/non-bodily,’ nor ‘phantom/ghost’ nor ‘ascent to heaven.’ Resurrection did not mean ‘seeing a vision of Jesus who was dead.'
2. The Resurrection is the declaration that Jesus is “righteous.”
In Jesus’ death the curse of sin is put upon him. But resurrection is the proclamation that Jesus is no longer condemned for our sins. He is raised up and God declares that Jesus is “righteous.” He has done what is right, he fulfilled his mission and he obeyed God’s law perfectly in his humanity.
The Son has done what the Father sent him to do and now the Father begins exalting him in resurrection. It is a “reward” as it were. In the resurrection we see that Jesus truly is the “Holy One” because God promised to David in Psalm 16 that the Holy One wouldn’t see decay.
Isaiah 53:11 Out of the anguish of his soul he [God the Father] shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
1 Timothy 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated [literally: justified] by the Spirit...”
Romans 4:25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
Just as Jesus wins in his death our freedom from sin because he is pronounced guilty for us, so also when he is raised up he is declared to be “righteous.” He has obeyed God perfectly. His act on the cross is an act of righteousness in obedience to the Father. Just as the Father can pronounce us forgiven when we believe in Jesus’ death--the Father can pronounce us “righteous” when we believe in his resurrection.
We do not earn or merit salvation we trust Jesus (in his death and resurrection) and we are given the gifts of the benefits.
3. The Resurrection is Jesus’ enthronement as Messianic King.
Romans 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
In verse 3 we have a reference to Jesus’ humanity. The Son--the Son who was the Son of God before He came-- “was born a descendant of David.” In his humanity he was of the line of David.
Then there is the phrase “declared Son of God with power.” The word “declared” actually means “appointed.” The English translates it “declared” because they do not want you to think Jesus was made divine at this point. That is against the whole of the Bible. Appointed would be a word to describe the enthronement of a king. As Messiah, here on earth Jesus is appointed, designated for fixed as king when he is resurrected.
The resurrection is the crowning of Jesus.
Jesus did not come in power but in humility. He came to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. But now by his resurrection--the powerful display of resurrection... it is like the placing of the crown on Jesus’ head. We are too look and see he really is the Messiah.
Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today i have begotten You.’
Psalm 2:6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
Jesus is raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit.
What we are saying is this: the Jesus' resurrection begins Jesus’ exaltation. It is your king presented to you in glory. It is more than just saying “his sacrifice is good.” It is saying: this is your king. He is fixed over you to rule in power!
4. The Resurrection makes it possible for Jesus to ascend into heaven as our human representative.
Hebrews 7:16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.
Hebrews is contrasting Jesus’ being our high priest with the Old Testament high priesthood.
Levites and the line of Aaron were set apart by the Law and there was a physical requirement. The basis and ground for them being a high priest is that they were of the right line.
How can Jesus be our high priest? How can he go back into heaven and stand to represent us? He has indestructible life. His humanity is now resurrected and it is an imperishable body. Jesus cannot die again. Not only does he have no need to even more in his resurrected body he cannot die. It is wholly impossible for a resurrection body to come under the pains of curse of sin and death.
Resurrection bodies cannot be conquered by death.
Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”;
Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
The point is this: in the resurrection the Father crowns the Son with glory and honor. It is glory shining through his humanity. While he is the eternal Son of God and never loses his glory. In his humility the glory is veiled and does not shine through. His acts are that of meekness, mildness, servanthood.
In the resurrection he is crowned with glory. In Hebrews, the phrase “having been made perfect” denotes not moral perfection but resurrection perfection--the state of “glorification.” It is the perfection of being installed as the king. It is the perfection of the “new creation” where death cannot conquer him.
Jesus was always morally pure. But he goes from being able to lay down his life and die under the curse to the completed final state, resurrection life. In resurrection life he can go into heaven and be our high priest. Without conquering death and loosing its pains and then himself being glorified in resurrection life, he would be unable to bring many sons to glory.
5. The Resurrection begins the reign of Jesus which inaugurates the “Kingdom” of God.
If he is “appointed Son of God in power” and if he is “made Lord and Christ” as the Bible says, then were are to see that kingdom is present in the King. The kingdom gets “inaugurated” because the king is installed in power.
The resurrection says to you and I: “BEHOLD YOUR KING!” It is the Lord Jesus. He is like you in humanity! You will be like Him in resurrection. And yet the one who did this is unlike you: he is God.
This presentation of the king is like king David in the Old Testament. When he gets crowned in 2 Samuel, he is the king. Yet there are works for the king to do in vanquishing the enemies.
Hebrews tells us all things are under his dominion and authority even though we look out and we don’t see it yet.
1 Corinthians 15:25 “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”
Herman Bavinck writes:
“But in the state of exaltation, consequently, he has also been given the divine right, the divine appointment, the royal power and prerogatives to carry out the work of re-creation in full, to conquer all his enemies, to save all those who have been given to him, and to perfect the entire kingdom of God. On the basis of the one, perfect sacrifice made on the cross, he now--in keeping with the will of the Father--distributes all his benefits. Those benefits are not the physical or magical aftereffect of his earthly life and death; the history of the kingdom of God is not an evolutionistic process. It is the living exalted Christ, seated at the right hand of God, who deliberately and with authority distributes all these benefits, gathers his elect, overcomes his enemies, and directs the history of the world toward the day of his parousia. He is still consistently at work in heaven as mediator. He not only was but still is our chief prophet, our only high priest, and our eternal king. He is the same yesterday, today and forever....“There is, of course, an enormous difference between the work of Christ did in his humiliation and what he accomplishes in his exaltation. Just as after the resurrection, his person appeared in another form, so also his work assumed another form. He is no longer servant but Lord and Ruler, and his work is now no longer a sacrifice of obedience, but the conduct of royal dominion until he has gathered all his own and put all his enemies under his feet.” (Reformed Dogmatics, vol 3, p.474).
6. The Resurrection validates Jesus’ ministry, message and death and indirectly proves his deity.
It tells that Jesus has defeated death and conquered sin. He is not defeated. It tells us the kingdom has come.
The Old Testament expects resurrection to life for the righteous. So resurrection does not prove Jesus was God as if only a god can come back from the dead.
But because Jesus claimed to be God there is no way the Father would resurrect him if Jesus was lying about who he was and what he came to do.
Jesus' resurrection is proof to you that Jesus told us the truth about who he was and what he came to do. The bodily resurrection of Jesus assures us that he is in heaven bodily ministering as our representative, dispensing his gifts and his grace, administering his rule. He is acting as King, Savior and Lord for us and for our salvation.