The hinge of Christianity swings on one historical event: the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Without it, Paul said those of us who call ourselves “Christians” are to be the most pitied. Resurrection is kind of our thing. In the Old Testament, prophets resurrected people from the dead. In the New Testament, Paul resurrects someone who falls asleep and dies falling out of a window while listening to one of Paul’s sermons. Jesus, Himself resurrects a 12-year-old little girl, a young man, and His close friend, Lazarus. God raises people from the dead. Resurrection is what He does.
However, in Genesis 22, a peculiar story takes place. Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish faith, is told by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham obeys the brazen command and begins to make the journey up the mountain where God has told him this would occur. On the way there, he tells his servants who’ve accompanied them on the journey not to continue. Saying, “the boy and I will go and worship, then we will come back to you.” That’s an odd statement for someone who is about to take their son’s life. Why does he say “we” will come back to you? I know resurrection is a part of our story, but in Genesis 22, God has not raised anyone from the dead before…
The answer is given to us not in the narrative, but in the book of Hebrews. The writer recounts the events in the 11th chapter. He says of Abraham that he concluded: “that God was able to raise him, even from the dead, from which he also received him figuratively.” Abraham may not have physically seen anyone resurrected before, but in a moment of confusion, he recalled that he and Sarah had a barren womb, and yet God gave them a son anyways. God had already made the impossible possible in Abraham’s family. God had proven that He was in the business of resurrection long before someone physically dead was brought back to physical life
Jesus takes this further and declares that He is the resurrection and the life in John 11. It’s not just what He does; it’s who He is. Resurrection isn’t an event. Resurrection is a person named Jesus. What Abraham tells us is He is a safe and worthy place to anchor our faith and hope. He takes dead dreams, dead hearts, dead bodies, dead relationships, and dead souls and brings them back to life. If you ever need proof that God can bring resurrection to your story, don’t look ahead at the challenge; look back at the cross and the empty grave, and look up to He who is resurrection.