A youth pastor once asked a group of Christian teenagers to imagine that archaeologists had discovered positive proof that they had found bones of Jesus of Nazareth. What would that do to their faith?
- The Power to Have Sins Forgiven - Sin has a hold on all of us. Without God, we are slaves to sin. But Christ, through His death and resurrection, frees us from the power of sin. When Jesus died, God laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Is 53:6), the punishment that all of us deserve for all our sins. Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished what no other could. “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” (Heb 10:10 NLT)
- The Power to Conquer Sin - Resurrection power doesn't end with our forgiveness. Christ's resurrection also empowers us to conquer sin in our lives. Ephesians 4:24 tells us that in Christ we are a new creation; His Spirit lives within us. We have been renewed, we have a new self. In our humanity, we will still have to deal with sin in our lives sometimes. God gives us the power to overcome it, but we must first know we have the power! That is why Paul has such a strong desire for this knowledge.
- The Power to Be God's Agent - Christianity is not just about forgiveness and overcoming sin. Christianity is not simply a solution to our problems. God has a positive purpose in our salvation. He has determined that we are to be His agents of change in the world. God empowers us not only to defeat sin but also to share and display His loving message to the world. Jesus Himself said of us, “You are the light of the world.” Paul put it this way: “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” (2 Cor 5:19-20 NASB)
- The Power to Be Conformed to His Likeness - “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29 NASB) Resurrection power's greatest accomplishment is conforming us to the likeness of Christ. Can you imagine what that means? Think of everything about yourself that you don't like, all the habits, all the negative characteristics - the things you have wanted to change, have tried to change. God will deal with every one of those. You are being made into a perfect creation. You are becoming like Jesus! That is your destiny, becoming the perfect bride of Christ, spotless, blameless, loving, kind, strong -- transformed into His likeness.