Jesus died on the cross, fulfilling the Law in Himself and became the final sacrifice for sin, Matt 5:17, Is 53, Col 1:20, Heb 10:12, 2 Cor 5:21. He went to Hades, proclaimed His victory over death and triumphed over the enemy in it, Col 2:14-15. And on the third day, according to the Scriptures, He was raised from the dead, 1 Cor 15:3-4.
But what happened when Christ was risen? What was the reason that Christ had to be risen? And if Christ wasn’t risen from the dead, could we still have eternal life?
The short answer is no. Christianity would have failed if Christ would not have risen. But thank God He did rise and He is alive forevermore!
But I can’t just leave my answer at that. It is imperative that we see this answer in the Word for ourselves.
Let us turn to the book of Hebrews for this answer. There are many verses in Scripture that can explain this. However, I am led to use Hebrews 5:9–10
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
There are two passive verbs in verses 9 and 10 that are crucial to understanding the context of the passage.
The first verb is τελειωθεὶς, having been perfected, which has the same root as in Heb 2:10, however with some substantial differences. Verse 10 in chapter 2 as well as verse 9 in chapter 5 both use the exact same verbiage to describe the happenings on the cross and our redemption in Christ. This verb is τελειόω, meaning to complete or perfect. In Heb 2:10 this word is conjugated as τελειῶσαι· In this instance it is an aorist active infinitive verb with no gender or number. These verbs do not modify nouns, but instead they act on the previous finite verb in the sentence, which in the case of Heb 2:10 is “the leading of the sons unto glory”. Thus, telling us that it wasn’t Jesus who was perfected but rather the act of leading the sons unto glory was perfected or completed.
We now see this same verb show up in Heb 5:9, again describing the events on the cross, however in this case, this verb is conjugated as τελειωθεὶς, which is an aorist passive participle. Now the verbal participle takes on a unique characteristic in the fact that it also becomes an adjective. Participles are verbal adjectives that take on attributes of both a verb and an adjective. Therefore, a participle possesses the verbal tense and voice, but also declines to reflect gender, number and case as an adjective. Therefore, Greek participles must be able to reflect the Gender, Number, and Case of their Antecedent, the noun to which the participle refers or modifies. In the case of Heb 5:9, the antecedent noun is the word ὑιος, Son in verse 8. So we know from this that the perfecting is happening to the Son, namely Jesus, and we also know the Father is the One doing the perfecting because this verb is in the passive voice. But we also learned from Heb 2:10 that it wasn’t Jesus Himself who was perfected on the cross, but rather the act of leading of the sons to glory; it was the redemption plan of eternal salvation that was completed. Now in Heb 5:10 it again seems the text is saying that Jesus was perfected or completed through the things He suffered. But this is an assumption on the translator’s part that is not accurate. Jesus is and always has been and always will be complete and perfect, so what is it about Jesus that was perfected? The translators refer back to the suffering of obedience and assume it was thru this that He was perfected. But instead I would suggest we look forward at verse 10. For it is here in verse 10 we find our answer, specifically from the other passive verb. We see in verse 10 the Father naming Jesus as our High Priest. We learn from Phil 2:9 that He was given the name above every name. It was the endowment of this Name that completed or perfected the ability for Jesus to be the source of eternal salvation. It was the act of Jesus being risen from the dead and then given the name that is above every name that granted authority and perfected, in Jesus, the completed work of eternal salvation. Jesus was προσαγορευθεὶς, was charged, accounted first, given the name that is above every name, Phil 2:9, to be the leader or captain of our salvation, Heb 2:10.
This glory that Jesus was given by the Father, namely the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:33, completed or perfected His authority to be the High Priest of God, to be the Mediator for all men, giving them authority to become sons of God.
Jesus had to go to the cross and suffer the obedience of death in order to grant life to all who believe in Him. It wasn't Jesus Himself who was perfected or completed, but the authority to give life was completed in Him. This authority was given to Him after He had legally taken back the keys to death and hell by paying the price for sin and fulfilling the Law.
Jesus didn't learn obedience by the things He suffered, neither was He perfected by the things He suffered, but rather, it was the plan of redemption perfected in Him that was completed when God raised Him from the dead and gave Him the name that is above all names and set Him on high as our High Priest.
Romans 4:24–25 ... in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
The Way to eternal life was made perfect and completed in Jesus when He was raised from the dead. Our Salvation and our Glorification in Him hangs on the fact that Jesus did rise from the dead, and the sacrifice of His blood was counted worthy that He might become the author and source of eternal life and salvation to those who believe in Him.
John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen
Ἡ χάρις τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάντων υμῶν. ἀμην.