Most believers view the resurrection of the Lord Jesus either through a historical or a prophetical lens. They tend to look backward or forward. Too often, sons and daughters of God fail to grasp the present-tense benefits that have come to us as a result of this grand, spiritual conquest that took place when the stone rolled away almost 2,000 years ago. Before we dive into those, let's take a quick look at how we limit ourselves by adopting a purely past- or future-tense view of the resurrection.
Past-Tense View Is it inherently wrong to look back and remember what Christ accomplished? Of course not! When we look back to the crucifixion and resurrection historically, we understand that Jesus tasted "death for everyone" when He assumed our sin debt (Heb. 2:9).
The One who did not deserve to die instead took our place in death. The curse of death that should have fallen on billions of wayward souls, swallowing them up eternally, instead fell on the Savior who said, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25).
In Samson-like manner, He pushed against the pillars of this unconquerable stronghold and brought it crashing to the ground, accomplishing more in His death than in His life. When He arose victorious, the spiritual atmosphere surrounding this globe was changed drastically and permanently, for Yeshua (Jesus, meaning "the salvation of Yahweh") succeeded in "saving" us from the greatest archenemy of the human race.
Future-Tense View The past-tense view awakens within believers the prophetic expectation that one day, in the not-so-distant future, we will also conquer death when. As 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, "The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." First Corinthians 15:54 expands on the meaning of this: "So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'"
This is the spectacular and wonderful future scenario, but if we limit this glorious past event to only a future application, we have missed a grand portion of our inheritance as "children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:36). So let's review the present-tense benefits that have been passed to us as a part of our glorious inheritance.
Present-Tense Benefits of Jesus' Resurrection
1) Deliverance From Spiritual Death "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Eph. 2:4-5). Read those two verses carefully again. When Jesus came out of the grave, believers were delivered from spiritual death right then.
We were "made alive together with Christ," resurrected from the grips of sin. When we received the resurrected Savior in our hearts, He began the resurrection process. Just like Adam in his fallen state died spiritually and then began dying physically, so believers are resurrected first spiritually on their way to a complete physical resurrection at the coming of the Lord. God puts a "new spirit" within us (Ezek. 36:26).
2) Restoration of Spiritual Breath After Jesus arose from the dead, He appeared in the upper room and "breathed" on His disciples, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22). This was a restoration of what Adam lost in the beginning. The Bible explains that "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [a living soul]" (Gen. 2:7 NKJV/KJV).
After the rebellion, Adam and Eve lost the breath of God. They may have retained breath naturally, but not spiritually. God does not breathe oxygen and other gaseous vapors; God "breathes" His own divine essence. The word inspiration means "to breathe into."
When Adam sinned, he lost divine breath in his spirit, so he could no longer live an "inspired" life—full of divine wisdom, knowledge and love. Jesus came out of the grave with the passion to restore this breath of inspiration, to breathe into us the life-giving attributes of God's character and image, and to make us "living souls" once again.
3) Justification and Righteousness Romans 4:25 reveals that Jesus was "delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." To be "justified" means to be legally acquitted of all guilt and reckoned righteous, as if we never sinned. What an amazing truth!
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Ps. 103:12). Because of what Jesus did, God has made us righteous in His sight, given us "the gift of righteousness" and even named us "the righteousness of God in Christ" (Rom. 5:17; 2 Cor. 5:21).
4) Hope Peter launched his first epistle with the statement of praise, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Pet. 1:3). At one time, we had "no hope, without God in this world" (Eph. 2:12). Then "the God of hope" filled us "with all joy and peace in believing" (Rom. 15:13).
Hope is desire married to expectation. The most hopeless scenario in this world is death, but because Jesus conquered death and gave His people the gift of immortality, we have endless, boundless hope—in every situation.
5) Healing Malachi 4:2 prophesies of the resurrection with wonderful imagery: "But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings." He was a healer before the resurrection, before the complete price was paid for us.
How much more did He come out of the grave with a passion and power to heal us completely—body, mind, soul and spirit. He is Yahweh-Rapha ("the Lord our healer"), the Great Physician, who now presents to every human being the invitation, "Do you desire to be made whole?" (John 5:6).
6) Peace, Wholeness and Prosperity After Jesus arose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples several times, greeting them with the word "Peace." (Most likely, He actually spoke the Hebrew word "Shalom.") Shalom is a rich spiritual term with multiple meanings, including peace, rest, welfare, health, wholeness, happiness and prosperity in every area of life. The "chastisement of our peace [Hebrew: shalom] was upon Him" (Is. 53:5).
In other words, He went through the mind-piercing pain of Calvary, crowned with thorns, so we could experience being crowned with life. Now "He is our peace" and we have received "peace with God," "peace from God" and the "peace of God that passes understanding" (Eph. 2:14; 2 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 4:7).
7) Daily Renewal Second Corinthians 4:16 encourages those who are troubled: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." The cells in our physical bodies are constantly renewed by fresh blood removing death-dealing toxins and infusing every cell with life-giving oxygen from the lungs and nutrients from the digestive system. So it is with our spirits.
The blood of Jesus flows through us constantly, removing the toxin of the lower nature and infusing us with the resurrection life of the Word and the Spirit, constantly renewing our status of victory and righteousness. This is a "mini-resurrection" on a personal and spiritual level that takes place over and over again all day long, as we abide under Jesus' lordship. No wonder, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper" (Is. 54:17).
8) Ultimate Victory and Total Dominion Let's end with the scripture passage we began with, yet adding the verse that follows: "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6).
To be raised up to sit together with Christ is to be enthroned with Him in a position of power, authority, rest, victory and dominion. He has made our enemies our footstool. All things are under His feet, and now all things are under our feet as well. This is the restoration of the dominion Adam and Eve lost in the beginning, and this speaks of absolute victory over every negative we face in this world—not just historically and not just futuristically, but right here, right now. Yes, "this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith" (1 John 5:4).
Begin claiming your resurrection rights today! Jesus bought them; now they are yours to enjoy!
Mike Shreve, author of 11 books including 65 Supernatural Promises From God for Your Child, has been involved in full-time ministry and evangelism since 1971, sharing the gospel around the world. His passion is to see New Testament Christianity in the earth, the release of God's glory, the manifestation of His gifts and the fulfillment of His promises. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Cleveland, Tenn., with their two children.
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