In my previous series of posts on what the cross means for us, I mentioned that Jesus rose from the dead. And this proved that he had broken the cycle of sin and death for good.
This led to some questions from readers, mostly as in “How did he prove he had broken the cycle of sin and death?” I’ll attempt to answer that question now.
It’s a natural question to ask, once you have come to believe that he did actually rise from the dead. I’m going to assume that you already believe this. The question of whether he rose from the dead has already been answered in detail by others, far more qualified to answer it than me. So if you’re looking for evidence, I suggest you might want to start here, or perhapsone of the many books available on the subject.
When Jesus rose from the dead, it proved he was who he said he was. If he had not risen, he would just been yet another fake messiah. If Christ had not been saved, our faith would be futile (1 Corinthians 15:17). All that he had taught—including loving God and loving your neighbour—would have been proven false. Everyone would have gone back to their old ways. Following the law would have led to more sin and death.
It’s possible that Israel would then have risen up against Rome, only to have suffered a devastating defeat. No one would have escaped, because no one would have remembered Jesus’ warnings. God’s chosen people wiped out and forgotten, evil would have won.
But by rising from the dead, Christ started the process of reversing the effects of Adam’s mistake.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. [1 Corithians 15:21-22]
In the beginning, God gave the world one man and one woman, Adam and Eve. We were supposed to gain life through them, but they failed in their mission. They failed because Satan deceived them into doing the one thing that God had told them not to. In doing so, they introduced sin into the world, bringing death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23]
But although sin originated on earth with Adam, he did not come up with the idea. It was Satan who first rebelled against God, and Satan who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Satan wanted Adam and Eve to believe that sin was more attractive than obeying God. Jesus’ death exposed sin for what it really was. His resurrection was victory over death—the effect of sin. He had defeated the enemy, Satan.
Now that sin and death have been defeated, we are no longer bound to sin and death. We can now choose to receive the gift of eternal life from God.