We believe in Jesus Christ… who rose again from the dead on the third day.
“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Jesus was not the only good man in the history of the world to be put to death unjustly, or for a cause that He believed in, or for challenging the status quo. How would His death be different from that of any other martyr, if it were not for what happened afterwards?
He and His followers have always insisted that He died “as a ransom for many”(Mark 10:45), satisfying the punishment demanded for our sins. But if “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), how can we know that payment has been made in full? Only by seeing that the power of death has been overcome.
This is illustrated by the rituals of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). The high priest would enter the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle (or Temple) with the blood of the prescribed sin offering; otherwise, like Aaron’s two sons Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3), he would be struck dead for presumption. Meanwhile, the people would wait anxiously outside until he re-emerged alive and well. In the same way, Jesus’ resurrection is the proof that His sacrifice for our sins was accepted and that we can indeed enter into a relationship with God.