Reading Time: 3 mins

The Resurrection Message of Forgiveness

Reading Time: 3 mins

The price was really paid. Your sin remains buried in Christ’s tomb.

On Easter and during the season of Easter, many Christians will use the greeting: “Christ is risen!” Often, that greeting is met with the response: “He is risen indeed!” And maybe there is an “alleluia” added at the end for good measure. This greeting draws words from the Scriptures, specifically from passages like Luke 24:36-49, and reminds God’s people of the great truth of Easter and the Christian faith.

When you first look at these words from Luke’s gospel, you can clearly see Christ is risen indeed! Much of what you hear or read takes place on the evening of the first Easter, with details meant to make this truth plain and clear. First, Jesus stands in the middle of his disciples in the flesh. They hear his voice: “Peace be with you,” he says (vs. 36). He shows his hands and feet, marked with the nails of the cross. He even invites them to touch him: his real flesh and blood, died and resurrected body. Finally, he asks them for food. They give him a piece of fish, and he eats it in front of them. Why does he do that? Is it just because saving the world makes a guy hungry? No! It’s to show them he is physically present in his risen and glorified body. Spirits don’t eat, but living people with real bodies do.

Scripture provides another piece of evidence to help us understand Christ is indeed risen. Jesus points his people back to the Scriptures. He points them to the prophecies of the Old Testament, what was “written…in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms” (vs. 44). He reminds them of the many times he’s told them how he would die and rise again. Then he opened up their minds so they could understand exactly how he fulfilled what the Scriptures said.

So what does this clear truth that Christ is risen mean for us? Jesus said that when these things happened then he would see to it that people heard about them. A message of “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in [Jesus’] name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (vs. 47). 

The message that Christ is risen carries an impact. Christ’s fulfillment of that message speaks to the truth of the Scriptures as a whole. Part of the message Jesus promised that first Easter confronts sin. It calls each of us to examine our lives in light of the Scriptures, and where and when we are not living according to God’s standard, Jesus calls us to repent. But that message of repentance is followed by a message of the forgiveness of sins. Jesus died to forgive your sins. Jesus lives again to prove to you that he did what he promised: 

The price was really paid.
Your sin remains buried in Christ’s tomb.
Death will be merely your door to eternal life at Jesus’ side in heaven. 

The Scriptures still proclaim that message to you because Christ still is risen.

We read Luke 24:36-49:

 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. 

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”