As Christians prepare to celebrate Easter, are you aware that Jesus Christ created three resurrection portals? The first portal is rooted in history; the second is rooted inside man’s soul; and the third is rooted in Heaven. A portal is “a doorway, gate, or other entrance.”
The first resurrection portal is the opening to the tomb Jesus exited after rising from the dead (Matthew 28:5-7). J.C. Ryle said, “The resurrection is a fact better attested than any event recorded in any history, whether ancient or modern.”
Charles Colson said, “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead; then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world — and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
The first resurrection portal involves believing the historical fact that the crucified Savior rose from the dead. When the women “found the stone rolled away” and then walked through the portal into the empty tomb, “they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:2). Christ had risen from the dead, just as He foretold (Matthew 16:21). Do you accept this fact of history and this fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah? (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 22:1-31; Isaiah 53:1-12).
The first resurrection portal is an essential element of Christianity. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost … but Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:17-18,20).
The second resurrection portal is inside man’s soul. When you receive Christ as your Savior through faith, (Ephesians 2:8,9) the God of the universe enters your body through a portal in your soul and takes up residence within you. The Apostle Paul informed believers: “Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20), and “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19).
How does God enter the believer? Through a door; that is, a portal. Jesus said, “Be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:19-20).
“If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10). The second resurrection portal is necessary “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:19-20).
The second resurrection portal is an essential element of Christianity. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ... you must be born again” (John 3:3,7). In other words, one must be saved, forgiven, justified and redeemed through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26).
“In His great mercy God has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in Heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:3-4) and for all who have received Christ through faith (John 1:12).
The third and final resurrection portal is entered when the body of the believer dies. At that point, the person's soul is immediately ushered through “the gates of Heaven” (Genesis 28:17; Revelation 21:21). The Christian is then “absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Believers will be given a resurrection body at the end of time “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52).
Jesus told His disciples: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).
And so, you see: Jesus Christ has created three resurrection portals. The Messiah rose from the dead; Jesus is the author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and Christ is also the guarantor of our eternal life in Heaven.
Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26).
The death of Christ on the cross paid for our sins, and the resurrection of Jesus from the grave guarantees everlasting life for all believers. Repent of your sins as you turn away from them. Trust that Christ died on the cross to save you, and then rose from the grave on the third day.
“All things have been created by Christ” (Colossians 1:16), and this includes the three resurrection portals. Will you humble yourself before the Creator of all things? Will you admit you are a sinner and unable to save your soul?
If you refuse to accept the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection (first portal), you will remain stuck in unbelief. Without faith, you cannot be forgiven and born again (second portal). And your soul will be locked out of Heaven forever (third portal) unless you “repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15) while you still have time to do so.
If you have not yet placed your faith in Christ for salvation, will another Easter come and go while you remain spiritually dead in the tomb of your unconverted soul? Will you believe in the risen Savior who is the resurrection and the life? (John 11:25,26) “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.