II. The Resurrection is Proof
A second reason why the resurrection is important is that the resurrection is proof. Specifically, the resurrection proves that Jesus was who he says he was and it proves that he accomplished what he said he accomplished. Think about it, what would we know about Jesus if he had not risen from the dead? The resurrection confirms the divinity and the identity of Jesus.
a. It’s proof of Jesus’ Divinity
The Apostle Paul made this same point in Acts 13:30-33. Here he is preaching to people who doubted both the person and work of Jesus. Paul’s remedy for this was to point to the resurrection. Here’s how he frames the argument:
“But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “ ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’” (Acts 13:30–33, ESV)
If you are having trouble with the divinity of Christ or the efficacy of His work then the resurrection is the perfect prescription for “what ails you.”
Paul again goes back to this prescription in Romans 1:3-4:
“concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 1:3–4, ESV)
Here Paul points out that the resurrection confirms Jesus’ divine position (declared to be the Son of God), his divine power (in power), and his divine place (according to the Spirit of holiness). In other words, his resurrection proves that he is a part of the Trinity with all the power and inter-Trinitarian cooperation that this entails.
b. It’s proof of Jesus’ identity
In addition to demonstrating Jesus’ divinity, the resurrection demonstrates Jesus’ unique identity as the Savior of the World. Acts 5:30-31 explains,
“The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:30–31, ESV)
The world “lifted Jesus up” as a criminal on the cross, but the Father “lifted Jesus up” (i.e. resurrection) as “Leader and Savior.” In other words, the resurrection proves that Jesus is the unique savior of the world. Look for Buddha and you’ll find a shrine. Look for Mohammad and you’ll find a grave. Look for Jesus and you’ll find the resurrected Savior.
If you trust in a savior who is dead, or will die, then you haven’t met the resurrected Savior yet. Just like all false saviors you too will die one day and this proves that you can’t save yourself. The bible is clear that the real Savior cannot be defeated by death, which leads to another reason why the resurrection is so important.