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Why Jesus Needed to Resurrect

By Justin Johnson

The resurrection of Jesus is the monumental event of human history. Yet, why he needed to resurrect was not fully revealed until the Apostle Paul.

During his life on earth no one knew he would resurrect, not even his closest disciples.

“For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” – John 20:9

The crucifixion was seen initially as the deathblow to the kingdom gospel preached during Matthew-John, but the resurrection gave the kingdom gospel new life (1 Pet 1:3). Since he was risen from the dead it was certain that he could return to establish the kingdom that he preached to Israel (Mark 1:15, Acts 3:19-20).

Renewed Hope For the Kingdom Gospel

This renewed hope is evident by the questions the disciples asked the Lord after his resurrection:

“…they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” – Acts 1:6

At Pentecost the Twelve apostles resumed preaching the good news of the kingdom gospel even after the Messiah was crucified, because he was alive and ascended up into heaven!

The twelve were witnesses of the resurrection proof that the kingdom gospel could still be fulfilled and Jesus was the Son of God all along.

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” – Acts 2:32

“And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” – Acts 3:15

“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” – Acts 4:33

Paul and the Resurrection

Later, Saul (Paul) would witness the resurrected Son of God on his way to persecute those who taught it. This experience quickly changed his beliefs as Jesus told him he was especially chosen to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21, Rom 11:13).

Jesus taught Paul the meaning of the death, burial, and resurrection for the Gentiles, and for the first time we could understand the meaning behind why the death and resurrection was necessary for all men (Gal 1:11-12).

Without his death we could not reckon our old man dead and be delivered from the law for righteousness (Rom 3:21-22, 6:11). His blood paid for the sins of all, and his resurrection established our justification and new life in Christ (Rom 4:24-25).

Peter, Paul, and the Resurrection

It is not a surprise that both Peter and Paul taught the resurrection of Jesus Christ as necessary for both of their gospel messages. Peter for the fulfilled kingdom promises to Israel, and Paul for complete salvation.

“Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. ” – 1 Cor 15:11

Ever after that pivotal event it was necessary that everyone believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead. The reasons “why” were first made known by God’s chosen vessel (Acts 9:15).

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Published: April 17, 2010
Last Modified: August 4, 2016
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