NT Wright made an interesting comment this week. He suggested that the New Testament presents many implications that come from the resurrection. However, the one that most preachers tend to emphasize is not really presented in the New Testament. Namely, “Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can go to heaven when we die.” I mention this not to affirm the comment, but to prompt our thinking and Bible study.
Before preaching the resurrection this Sunday, check your text for the implications that are present. For instance, in 1st Corinthians 15 we read that His resurrection gives us hope of our own (v16-20), the fear of death is removed (v26, 54-57), there are ethical implications (v32-34), motivation for ministry (v58), and even prompting to practical help for the poor (16:1, note Galatians 2:7-10).
Let’s preach the truth of the resurrection, let’s even allow our excitement to show, but let’s also try to be specifically clear in presenting the implications. It is easy in our excitement about the event to fall short in our relevance and application. Truly, everything is changed because Jesus rose from the dead. Part of our task is to help people see how that is true.