The resurrection of Christ is critical to the Christian hope because:
- it proves that God is all powerful
- it proves that death is not the end
- Jesus is the first, and we can be like him
These points come out of 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul is addressing believers about claims that Jesus hadn’t been raised. The whole chapter is very helpful, but the bottom line is that the resurrection is crucial to our salvation because the resurrection is our salvation.
The Bible doesn’t actually teach the commonly held belief that at death our souls ascend to heaven. Instead it tells us that when we die we remain in the grave. Our body decays and the person that we are exists only in the infinite mind of God. This remains our station until the return of Jesus when the resurrection will happen.