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The doctrine of resurrection is core to Christianity. One of the simplest and earliest expression of Christian faith we find in the New Testament is from Paul:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, emphasis added)
So fundamental is the Christian doctrine of resurrection and so familiar we may be with this idea that we may miss how stunning and incredibly unexpected this idea is.
Throughout the generations and even in our day, many have doubted, and many have disbelieved in the resurrection of Jesus (see Mosiah 26:2; Mosiah 27:8; Alma 30:2.
It’s easy to do, especially in our day. We live in a hyper-rationalized world. We live in a time where many choose to not believe anything until they have received final and decisive scientific evidence.
What Would Christianity Be Without Jesus’s Resurrection?
What would happen to our faith if we waited until we had final confirming evidence of the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
If we didn’t believe Jesus and His witness of His resurrection:
What joy would we lose?
What relationships would wither?
What love would we not experience?
What hope would die on the vine?
What purpose and meaning would we miss out on?
What Would Christianity Be Without Our Resurrection?
Now take a moment to consider if you would never be resurrected.
What would you look forward to?
What is the purpose and meaning of your life without your resurrection?
What value is there in any action or effort you’d make on this earth?
Resurrection is a necessity in the Plan of Salvation. For our life purpose, resurrection is necessary. For our present and future joy, for the salvation of our present and future relationships resurrection is essential.
Resurrection Is One of the Glorious Doctrines of the Gospel
Though we are taught clearly the principle of revelation in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon reveals additional details and insights that we do not find anywhere else in scripture. Alma the Younger reveals an expanded view of resurrection as he taught his son Corianton who struggled to believe the doctrine of resurrection.
- “No one is resurrected until after the coming of Christ (Alma 40:2).
- There is a specific time appointed when every person will be resurrected, but only God knows that time (Alma 40:4, 9).
- There will likely be multiple times of resurrection since there will be righteous people who live and die after Christ dies and is resurrected (Alma 40:5, 8).
- Alma believed that the righteous till the time of Christ would be resurrected with Him (Alma 40:20).” (This list is courtesy of Book of Mormon Central KnoWhy #148 Why Was Corianton So Concerned About The Resurrection?)
Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, all of us will stand before God in the flesh to be judged of our works. We will know with a sure knowledge that His judgement and mercy are perfect. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ will then experience a fullness of joy in the flesh and live eternally in the presence of God the Father and His Son to reap the never-ending rewards of eternal progression.
The task at hand, to look to Jesus and believe Him and His resurrection, is as simple as looking at the serpent on the staff Moses lifted in the wilderness to heal those who had been bitten by snakes. Unfortunately, too many refused to look because of the easiness of the way, and perished (see Numbers 21:4-9).
That act of Moses symbolized what Jesus would do for us, as the Gospel of John describes:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14-16)
Call to Action: During your next sacrament service, take an extra moment to think about the beautiful and salvific reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and your future resurrection.