Why Jesus’ resurrection matters

1. Outside of Easter, how often do you think about Jesus’ resurrection?  Why is this?

For followers of Christ, Easter is one of the most significant days of the year.  The fact that three days after his death by crucifixion Jesus rose bodily from the grave is amazing and has significant implications.  But apart from what this means for our rescue from being eternally separated from God because of our sin, maybe the implications of Christ’s resurrection for our everyday lives as coaches and athletes aren’t quite so obvious.  What difference does the resurrection make?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-20, 50-58 (or the whole chapter)

In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul assures us that Jesus’ resurrection is real.  More than 500 people saw Jesus after he rose from the dead and would have been willing to give sworn testimony that it’s true (vv. 5-8).  Paul then goes on to explain why Jesus’ resurrection guarantees the future resurrection of all who trust and follow Christ.  Admittedly, it’s a complex chapter that we may find confusing at places without some help in unpacking Paul’s argument.

2. According to 1 Corinthians 15, what are the implications for us of Christ’s resurrection?

Think of a well-designed football play.  The play has lots of different components that make it seem complex – blocking schemes, players in motion, routes by the receivers, fakes by the quarterback – but it’s all driving toward one desired end: score!  Similarly, with all the different components of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is driving toward one desired end: he wants us to understand that Jesus’ resurrection makes all the difference for our everyday lives.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we know that the gospel is true!  When we place our faith in Jesus, we have complete confidence that our sins are forgiven, we’ve been reconciled to God, and we can daily experience a real, loving relationship with him.  Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we know that our future is secure!  Through his resurrection, Jesus is victorious over sin, death, and the enemy of our souls.  He gives us that same victory, and we can live daily with the hope that the eternal life we have in Christ guarantees a future with him that is wonderful beyond imagining.

Christ’s resurrection proves the gospel is true and our future with him is secure, leading to this:  because of the resurrection of Jesus, we know that when we live for him day by day, what we do really matters!  This is Paul’s point in the last verse of 1 Cor. 15:

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Cor. 15:58)

The resurrection of Jesus guarantees that when we live for the Lord now, the fruit of our life makes an eternal difference.  So in everything you do, be strong and immovable in doing it for Christ!  Always coach for Christ, play for Christ, work for Christ, study for Christ – live for Christ.  Nothing you do day by day for the Lord is ever useless, whether as a coach or player or in any other area of your life.

3. How does 1 Cor. 15:58 encourage you?  How are you being challenged by the Lord through this verse to reconsider the way you approach day-to-day life?

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me.  Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.