Why do Christians worship on the first day of the week? Because it is on the first day of the week, Sunday, that JESUS PROVED HIS POWER OVER not just spiritual death but PHYSICAL DEATH as well.
“On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel… the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.’” ~Luke 24:1–6~
So what does that mean to us? Well for one thing – Christians worship on Sunday and have been since the Apostles began their missionary journeys (see the book of Acts and Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians).
More important than that it is the fact that Christians are promised resurrection as well. Paul wrote to the Romans (6:5), “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Like His – Like the one Jesus experienced – Full Bodily Resurrection is what we are promised. Our future is not that of a disembodied spirit floating beyond our current life – a bodiless existence in another realm. God promises that He will in the resurrection, as He did in the Garden of Eden, make His dwelling with His creation. That the New Jerusalem will descend to the New Earth – the post resurrection earth – the redeemed and recreated Earth will be joined. “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” ~Revelation 21:3~
Great we might be tempted to say – all will better then. Whether heaven or heaven on earth, what difference does it make? The difference is that God created this earth for His people – For His people to tend after and to enjoy. In the Garden God breathed into Adam “the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed… The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
That Garden we are supposed to work and keep was then damaged by our own sin. The Garden now waits for the day of resurrection as well. “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” ~ Romans 8:19–21~
The redemption has started. The first resurrection points to what will come – the total restoration of God’s creation. It is a restoration in which we have an important role to play. For after the resurrection Jesus, as God the Father did so many years earlier, breathed His Spirit into His disciples and commissioned them to change the world – to do His work in restoring the world, to help usher in the Kingdom of God, to be Easter people – to be Kingdom people here and today.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.