Why is Christ’s Resurrection Central to the Gospel?

By Rev Dr Edward Goh

Romans 10:9 says if you confess Christ is Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. How does Christ’s resurrection relate to His Lordship and our salvation? What is the significance of His resurrection? 

Two portions of Paul’s teaching are helpful here. First, Romans 1:3-4 says Jesus is the Son of God who chose to come to earth in the weak form of human flesh. However, His resurrection has declared Him now to be the Son of God in power. This exaltation of the Son is a fulfilment of Psalm 2. By raising Him from the dead, God has installed Jesus, His only begotten Son, as His King in Zion. This heavenly Zion is the city of God, the gathering of His angels and people as Hebrews 12:22-24 shows us. The resurrection declares Jesus as the Lord and King, the firstborn from among the dead, preeminent in God’s new creation. 

The second helpful passage is Acts 17:31. Paul tells us God has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed, and God has given assurance that this will happen by raising Him from the dead. Christ’s resurrection, therefore, declares Him as the coming Judge who will one day hold the world to account. 

What does this mean for us? Psalm 2:11 calls us to fear the Son by serving and rejoicing in Him. Psalm 2:8 says God has given Christ the nations for His inheritance. Paul understood this to be the calling of his apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith among the nations (Rom. 1:5) as Christ’s inheritance, including us who believe. Thus, as our Lord and King, He commands our obedience. 

So why is Christ’s resurrection so significant? It is the heart of the Gospel. It declares the good news that God reigns, that the Kingdom of God is here! Psalm 2 ends with this counsel for us, “Kiss the Son… Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.” This is a call to embrace Him as our beloved King. Only when we do so will Christ’s resurrection secure ours, so that on the last day we shall be raised with Him in glory. Not only so, to confess His Lordship is also to be sent by Him to proclaim this message of His Kingdom. Are you willing?