Many who would describe themselves as 'Christian' (as well as some who wouldn't) know the Easter story and they're aware that it's supposed to be important. For believers in particular, the day often brings such deep joy - there's just something about this weekend! Something magnetic. It's lasted for centuries, millennia even, and it just won't go away. Something happened. And whatever that something is, it's utterly incredible.
However, whilst most Christians have a sense of why Jesus had to die on the Friday, the exact point of Easter Sunday can sometimes prove a bit more evasive. What did the Resurrection actually 'achieve'? What was the point of it all? (That is, besides demonstrating that Jesus is a boss.) Because of this, we're going to go through '12 Reasons Why Jesus Had To Rise'. There was indeed a purpose in the Father emptying the tomb of His Son. A purpose that echoes across all eternity. And we can't wait to describe it to you.
Then, after we've listed those 12 reasons, we're each going to share what the Resurrection means to us. How has this ridiculous story - that death itself is defeated, that the grave has been shattered, that Christ has blunted Satan's scythe - how has this good news affected us? How do we even begin to get around our heads around that? We'll share all below.
So keep reading.
It's a crazy truth, but it's certainly worth celebrating.
 The Resurrection: Fulfilled Israel's Religion + History.
 The Resurrection: Showed God's Passion for the Least + the Last.
 The Resurrection: Marked God's Affirmation of the Physical World.
 The Resurrection: Kept God's Promise Of Incarnation.
 The Resurrection: Served As The Vindication of Jesus.
 The Resurrection: Was A Revelation of the Trinity.
 The Resurrection: Redeemed Us, As Well As The Crucifixion.
 The Resurrection: Was the Defeat of Satan.
 The Resurrection: Was the Defeat of Death.
 The Resurrection: Marked The End of the World.
It likely seemed strange for the Apostles to speak of a ‘double-Resurrection’ (first for Christ and then again for everyone else), as this was a model of resurrection generally unheard of. However, one thing remains unchanged in the NT’s understanding: God’s act of resurrection is something saved for the end of the world. The OT texts that appear to refer to resurrection (e.g. Isa 26:19 + Dan 12:1-2) are clear on this. So, when Jesus was raised from the dead, one thing should stand out: God has started His plan for all creation, to gather up all things in Christ and make all things new. It may seem stereotypical to speak of the ‘Last Days’ but in an exciting way that’s what Christ’s Resurrection heralds. God has started to bring about all that He promised in the prophets. Every valley will be made low, all wars will cease, death will be no more - and it all starts here, with Christ’s Resurrection, through which judgement has been assured (Acts 17:31). That’s why the NT writers were so aware that their time was short. It’s started; the King is coming back.
 The Resurrection: Shows Us That It's All About Jesus.
 The Resurrection: Makes Demands of Us.
P.S. What Does Easter Mean For The Three Of Us?
[Aaron]: Arrested by the Resurrection
The second time I learned about the resurrection, I had already been a Christian for a number of years. I had already studied theology and even preached sermons about that stickman from the picture. I believed in the resurrection. But there was this one big moment when I suddenly found myself arrested by it, as if for the first time. I was walking to work through the city centre for my coffee shop shift, past all the people with their phones and bags in their hands, and I was listening to something about the resurrection that put me in tears. It was hard to hold it together. Pretty embarrassing, really. For the first ten minutes of my shift I was a wreck of a barista. If I gave you the wrong drink that day, I’m sincerely sorry.
When you’re arrested by the resurrection, you suddenly realise something about your life, about the life of the person next to you, about your job, about your phone, about that shop, about that TV show, and about every human who has ever lived. It’s not like it no longer matters anymore (it should actually matter more, in a weird way) but none of it means the same anymore. You realise that everything’s changed now, everything’s different now; the playground doesn’t look the same anymore, nor does your life. Because now you know there really is something to live and die for. We’re not guessing anymore. That thing, the thing that human-type people have worried about for thousands of years – that whole “death” thing, that whole whatsitallfor thing, that whole whathappensnext thing – that’s it, right there, done: an empty tomb.
When you’re arrested by this truth (whether for the first time or the thousandth time) it’s as if the stickman jumps off the page, and suddenly it’s you who has the questionable halo. And he’s right there, hand-out-stretched, calling you into eternity. He’s done it. For you. He’s actually done it.
…You try making a vanilla latte after realising that.
[Owen]: Forced To Surrender
My serious commitment to Christ happened in two stages in my early twenties – first intellectual and then emotional. Being intellectually satisfied with Christianity permitted a more serious emotional engagement, and I didn't want to buy in simply so as to “stand to benefit”. I had no personal interest in heaven at the time; no pang of mortality had hit me. At any rate, I certainly didn't want a faith solely based on a fear of death (though now, perhaps, I'd say that's as sensible a motive as most people base their life philosophies upon).
But the simple inescapable historical event – the alleged resurrection of a Galilean apocalyptist – had to be dealt with one way or the other. When I could find no more intellectually plausible or satisfying an account for the Resurrection story than that it actually happened, I surrendered to the rest of Christian belief, as well. To me, then, the purpose of a liturgical Easter – that is, a concrete calendar “day” set aside to celebrate it – is to mark the utterly historical basis of Christian belief.
[Nathan]: The Beauty & Pull of the Hound
This road would eventually bring me to that first ever Easter Sunday (so to speak). By this point I'd read countless books and blogs and websites - some Christian, some not; some atheistic, some not; some religious, some secular. I'd read more of the Bible in those months than I had in my entire life. I had attended Church. I'd prayed and prayed some more. I had also contemplated chucking it all in. But everything changed when I reached that empty tomb.
By this point I was (and still am) 'intellectually' satisfied that there's no better explanation for the empty tomb than the victory of this Jesus of Nazareth over death. Even though I'd gone in search of what I termed the 'holy grail of atheism' (i.e. that argument or bit of evidence that would counter everything else and render it just a childish fiction), I'd returned empty handed. I could say with confidence that the tomb was empty, and I didn't have to check my brain at the Church doors to do so.
So I was convinced that Jesus had risen. I had arguments to support my position. But that only gets you so far. Mary had been told the truth of what had happened to Jesus, and yet she was still distraught. It was only when she heard the Risen Man speak her name that she embraced him as her own (John 20:16). In a similar manner, I was aware of the truth. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me that far at least. But when I heard him speak my name He ceased to be an argumentative abstraction, or a mere object of study, and He became the One To Be Cherished. The one to be enjoyed. The centre and purpose of all things.
The beauty of Easter for me is not just that stuff has happened for us,
but that Jesus himself has been given to us.
And that ludicrously simple truth changes everything.