In the pathway of grace and in the life of Jesus the resurrection is the breakthrough event that ushers in the work of the Holy Spirit. In the listing of first principles in Hebrews 6, the resurrection of the dead is the principle that corresponds with the bringing of life in the pathway of grace. It is the singular event that demonstrates the efficacy of Christ’s suffering and the victory over sin, death, and hell God brings to us through Jesus Christ. The book of Acts repeatedly proclaims that it is the resurrection of Jesus that exalts Him above all others. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, (whom God raised from the dead) both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2: 36)
In Acts 3, Peter gives Jesus the title, the Prince of Life. The Holy Spirit has been poured out so the apostles and all who repent and believe in Jesus might become witnesses to this fact. Peter goes so far as to say whosoever will repent and be converted to follow Jesus will have their sins blotted out and experience the time of refreshing promised by God. (Acts 3: 19) Even more stark and declarative, Peter quotes from the Old Testament warning to those who refuse to turn to the Resurrected Prophet. “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3: 23)
But, as Peter shares in his own epistle, God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3: 9) This is shared in Acts 3: 26, “God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Yes, this is the divine plan: for you to experience life and that more abundantly.
Please remember though, that life is mediated through one person – Jesus. Peter says, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 10-12)
And Paul later speaking to the philosophers and thought leaders of Athens says much the same thing. “For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 29-31)
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” (Acts 17: 32) I hope we will hear again about this matter. Our lives depend upon it.