By Rev Dr Edward Goh
Why is the resurrection of Christ so central to the Gospel? Consider what Rom. 1:1-4 tells us the Gospel is. Firstly, this Gospel belongs to God. Secondly, it is promised in the Old Testament Scripture. Thirdly, it centres on the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. V. 3 says He came as a descendant of David, taking on the physical weaknesses of our flesh, veiling His divine glory to live an earthly life. V. 4 indicates however, the resurrection restored Him to the glory He once shared with the Father, just as He had prayed in John 17:5.
Though He is the eternal Son, v. 4 says through the resurrection, He was appointed as the Son of God in power. “In power” is in contrast to His humble state while He was in the flesh.
He is “the Son of God in power” also because Acts 13:33 tells us Christ was exalted through His resurrection. This was in fulfilment of Ps. 2: 6-7 where God the Father said of Him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.” The Lord Jesus has become the eternal Son who has taken on Himself our human nature. He became the only mediator between God and man. To Him God has given all authority in heaven and on earth to establish His kingdom among us (Matt. 28:18-20).
When the Jews asked Him for a sign in John 2, He said destroy the temple and He will raise it up in 3 days. He was predicting His own death and resurrection. Hence, the resurrection substantiated His words and vindicated Him as the Son of God He claimed to be. If He had remained in the grave, He would not be the Son of God, and we would have no hope of being saved by Him from our sins. Thank God He is the risen Son!
Christ’s resurrection is a promise that we who believed in Him will be raised in a new body like Him on the last day. His resurrection becomes the anchor of our hope in this fallen world. We know sickness and pain will not have the last word. Our sufferings now are but momentary. Even death is but a gateway to our new life and final victory in Christ Jesus our Lord. His resurrection thus becomes the source of our daily power and praise, the Gospel enabling us to press on till we meet Him face to face.