I have noticed for some time that in the New Testament the death (on the cross) of our Lord Jesus and his resurrection are (almost) always referred to together. The only exception I can recall is Paul’s elaboration on the meaning of the cross (1 Corinthians 2). Yet even in that portion of the letter, the careful reader will understand, the resurrection of Christ is not absent from Paul’s thought—for he writes about it elsewhere in the letter. It appears that he was focusing on his own preaching of the cross of Christ in order to counter the Corinthians’ tendency toward arrogance and pride in themselves and what they took to be their superior spiritual experience.
I would suggest that in the minds of many persons who do affirm faith in Christ there is a split between the two historical events. Mainly Christians tend to think, based upon what I have read and heard people say, that it is Christ’s death that saves us and the resurrection from the dead is a kind of necessary consequence of him having physically died. Is there not more to the resurrection than that?
Paul states plainly, “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10, NASB) So what precisely is the means of our being “saved”? Is it not the self-sacrificial death of Christ and his resurrection from death together?
What the above paragraph describes is not intellectual abstraction. Spiritual death and spiritual life are as real as physical life and death. And deliverance from the power of sin and from our total inability to do what is right from a pure heart—even when we know what that is and want to do it—is only found in the Person of the Lord Jesus (see Romans 7:21-25).
True repentance, forgiveness, deliverance from demonic spirits, healing of one’s inner person and body and hope all come through the power of the Living One, the resurrected Lord Jesus. And his power cannot become operational in a person unless he or she has genuine faith. “It is a great and necessary office of saving faith to purify the heart, and to enable us to live and walk in the practice of all holy duties, by the grace of Christ, and by Christ Himself living in us . . .” (Walter Marshall, Sanctification, or The Highway of Holiness, p.46)