Yes, Jesus is still alive. Although there are probably many people in the world today who wish He had died – and stayed dead. Sadly.
The apostle Paul rightly divines (1 Cor. 15) that at the core of the Gospel message is the knowledge and fact of Christ’s resurrection. If that’s a lie then the disciples preached, lived, and died in vain. In fact, the faith of every follower of Christ since would be worthless. Take away the resurrection and you have no gospel.
But the good news is this. Christ died, yes, He died as a substitute for us. He died to pay the penalty for sin, what every human being is born into this world with. That which keeps us from God. Yes, He willingly died. It wasn’t the Jews, it wasn’t the Romans who killed Jesus – He laid down His life “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12) the joy of the millions who would believe and be saved because of His sacrifice. Much like a soldier going into battle for the freedom of their country and facing death, and even dying for their country – even more so was Christ going to the crucifixion knowing that this wasn’t just any battle, this was the deciding battle. And on the cross, Christ rightly said, “It is finished” – His sacrifice was complete, His sinless life culminated with sin being paid for.
It was finished for sin but the declaration still needed to be sealed with a demonstration of power, and of victory. That’s why the resurrection is so important. Because of sin, Christ died. Because He rose again – sin, and death, were defeated. Christ dragged death and sin to the grave and left them there. With His resurrection comes the hope and the assurance of our resurrection. With His life comes the certainty for LIFE in those who follow Him. Jesus rightly said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE” and declared it that Friday to Sunday!
What’s so great about Easter? The tomb is empty.