The Encouraging Message of The Resurrection

By Charles Stanley


What would you call the most encouraging word ever spoken? It was a single word spoken in Greek, two thousand years ago. We translate it into three English words: He is risen!

Suppose you had been a follower of Jesus during the time He walked in Jerusalem, and that you heard every wonderful word He spoke. How would you have felt when they arrested Him, tried Him unjustly, and crucified Him? Then, imagine your thoughts when that one powerful word was spoken. He is risen!

That, my friend, is the awesome message of the Resurrection. We celebrate it at Easter and on every other day of the year, because it encourages us more than any message could. "Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me" (Isaiah 46:9). There is no one like our God, and no one like our Lord Jesus Christ.

Key Passage: Isaiah 46:5-10

Supporting Scripture:
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Hebrews 9:11-14, 24-26, 28
John 5:26-29
Ephesians 2:8-10
John 11:24-26
2 Corinthians 5:8
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Revelation 22:1-5
Matthew 17:1-4
1 Peter 2:12
Philippians 3:20-21

Scriptural Principles:

1. We are encouraged because Christ conquered death. When we think of all the prophets who have walked through this world, we think of the fact that every one of them is dead with one exception. What can a dead prophet do for you? Not one single thing. Only Christ has conquered death. His grave is empty, and now He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. And what is He doing? He is an advocate for us, interceding on our behalf before God. He is also caring for us, because He knows our needs. He lives within us in the person of the Holy Spirit, guiding us and empowering us. We as believers can rejoice and be encouraged, because He lives today and for all eternity. That's enough reason for you and me to praise God forever!

2. We are encouraged because our sins are forgiven and we are eternally secure. This was the very reason why Jesus came to earth -- not simply to teach, preach, and heal, but to forgive us. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself." Every single one of us was separated from God because of our sin, but Christ has brought us back into a loving relationship with our heavenly Father. Our debt of sin has been paid in full at the cross, where Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice, removing the stain of our sin by the shedding of His own blood, as Hebrews 9:11-14 explains.

3. We are encouraged because we are going to live forever. Someone may believe that already, but I might ask that person, "On what basis?" What prophet could get us to heaven, and how? We can have no hope of living a life that's good enough. No one who ever lived, other than Jesus, could claim to have more good works than bad ones. Sin is simply too powerful for us, but God sent His Son into the world not to condemn it but to save it through Him. The Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation, and if we reject Him we have rejected our only chance to avoid the judgment we will deserve on that final day. Christ gives us the hope of heaven and the encouragement of knowing that we need never fear death.

4. We are encouraged because God will care for our deceased loved ones. Paul's friends, the Thessalonians, wrote him a letter asking him, among other things, what would happen to those friends and family members who had already died. Where are they from now until the final judgment? Paul explained that they are "asleep." They sleep in Jesus, and God will care for them. Our loved ones do not wait in the cold caskets of this world. If they died in Christ as believers, they are in the presence of Almighty God already. One day, when Christ returns, they will be raised in bodily resurrection. We will join them, and we will all be transformed to the redeemed heavenly bodies that we will have for all eternity.

5. We are encouraged because Christ has a special place prepared for us. We are also encouraged because we know there is an eternal home waiting for us. Some people believe there is this life, then nothing afterward. How sad life would be if this was all we were ever going to have! Jesus told His disciples that He couldn't stay in this world because He had the task of going to prepare a place for them (and for us). How did He describe this place? He said that in His Father's house there are many mansions, so we know there is a definite, specific, and wonderful place, rather than somewhere in limbo. The book of Revelation describes a wonderful, beautiful place that is far more than our earthbound minds can possibly imagine. What an awesome encouragement to live every day with that hope!

6. We are encouraged because we will recognize our loved ones in heaven. Many believers ask about this. We might ask them this question in return: Would it be heaven if we could not recognize one another there? If everyone in heaven was a stranger to everyone else, what kind of place would our wonderful Savior have prepared for us? Not a single verse in all of Scripture implies that we will not know our loved ones in eternity. Matthew 17:1-4 tells us how Jesus' closest disciples saw Him transfigured on the mountain, beside Moses and Elijah. He was in His eternal glory, yet the disciples recognized Him. God made family, He made relationships, and gave us the love we have for one another.

7. We are encouraged because God has a special plan for our lives on earth. Isn't it wonderful to know that even as we await that wonderful home in eternity, God has a plan for the present as well? You can have every assurance that He has a specific plan for your life, and that it includes a number of things. He wants you to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and to walk in obedience to His will. He has a plan for you to receive all the good things He has in store for every believer. Finally, His plan is for you to have the pleasure and the honor of bringing glory to His name every day of your life. That's His ultimate goal for you, and it is in your power to accept or reject that wonderful offer from the One who loves you the most of all.


My friend, I cannot imagine why any believer should live a single day of life with a sad or gloomy disposition. We have heard the most encouraging word ever spoken: He is risen! We know that if He is risen, we are too -- not only from the death that awaits every individual, but from the sin and the miseries that this world contains.

Because He is risen, we have the hope of heaven one day, and even if that were our only hope, it would be a wonderful one. We would know that an awesome home awaits us, lovingly prepared by the hands of our Savior. We would know we could look forward to a reunion with our loved ones. Our encouragement is even greater because our Lord lives within us here and now. Glory, hallelujah to the Lord of all encouragement!