The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the foundations upon which Christianity is built (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). The virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:27), the deity of Christ (1 John 4:15, 5:5; John 10:30), Jesus’ atonement for sin (Romans 5:10–11; 2 Corinthians 5:21), and His crucifixion are non-negotiable truths, without which Christianity could not exist. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was the crowning achievement that forever separates Him from any other religious leader who has ever been or will ever live. No other religious figure in history has ever prophesied His own death and resurrection—and then accomplished it.
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead matters because it fulfilled prophecy. Jesus prophesied His resurrection (Mark 8:31), and so did the Old Testament (Psalm 16:10–11; Isaiah 53:12). Roman rule brought crucifixion as a particularly heinous form of capital punishment. Many people were crucified for their crimes and for insulting Caesar. So the facts of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial are not necessarily outstanding, as many suffered the same fate. However, the bodies of those other people are still in their graves. Jesus’ tomb is empty (Luke 24:24). If Jesus never rose from the dead, there would be no compelling reason to believe that He is who He said He is. But the fact is that He did rise again, confirming His claim to be God (Matthew 27:63; 28:6).
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead also matters because our justification hinges on it. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). A dead Savior cannot save, but we have a living Savior who justifies us and makes intercession for us (see Hebrews 7:25).
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is fundamental to our faith. First Corinthians 15 is a detailed explanation of the importance of Jesus’ resurrection. Verse 14 states, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” In fact, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (verse 17), and believers who have died are “lost” (verse 18).
Jesus rose from the dead, and Paul presents that event as the only thing that gives us hope in this life. Christ was the first to permanently rise from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20), clearing the way for a future resurrection for all who believe (verses 22–23). Jesus’ claim that He has the power to grant eternal life is to be trusted because He Himself conquered death (Romans 8:11; John 3:16–18; 10:28).