Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes! (from chorus of “Christ Arose”)
If you’ve watched any movies that depict the life of Christ, they almost all end with Jesus returning from the dead. It makes for a nice ending — the hero is alive, the good guys (the disciples) were sad but end up happy, and the bad guys who had appeared to have won didn’t win after all. Of course, the same description can be applied to the ending of many other movies that have nothing to do with Jesus.
It’s important to understand that the resurrection is not just a happy ending to the story.
For one thing, when Jesus rose from the dead, He didn’t return to this mortal life — if He did, He would have had to die again — but rather He rose to a life form that will last forever. And, most important to you and me, His resurrection paves the way for us to resurrect as well. If Christ didn’t resurrect, none of us would be able to either, but because He did resurrect, nothing can hold us back after death:
“Death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other: and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 9:12)
“The paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous, and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls” (2 Nephi 9:13).
For centuries prior to the resurrection, the souls of many righteous people were barred from the kingdom of heaven. After Christ resurrected, “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:52-53)
So, the resurrection is not just a random event in the Bible or a fun fact or just a happy ending to the gospels. It is something that bestows great power upon those who believe — the power to actually overcome death and live forever. It represents the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ, as the path to God’s kingdom was closed to us, but now the gates are wide open for those who desire to enter in.
We praise God for all we stand to inherit in the life to come, made available to us by the power of the resurrection.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.