The resurrection of Jesus was a Pentecostal event. Jesus was raised from the dead and proven to be the rightful King of the world by the Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4). The powerful presence and working of the Spirit in the resurrection is the declaration of Christ’s innocence and glory.
Paul urges the Ephesians to walk worthy of their vocations in Christ by bearing patiently with one another to keep the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:1-6). This grace for unity is found particularly in the gifts that Jesus gives having ascended on high, leading captivity captive (Eph. 4:7-9). Paul points out that Christ’s ascent is predicated on his descent: whether Paul is referring to the entirety of Christ’s time on earth or specifically to His death and burial, the point is the same: Jesus lived and died so that He might rise from the dead having plundered the grave and received all authority (Eph. 4:10). Jesus rose in order that His Spirit might fill His people to accomplish His mission (Eph. 4:11-12): that the whole world might come to the glorious maturity and unity of Christ through the ministry of the Church (Eph. 4:13-16).
Easter Means Pentecost
Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection as being inextricably linked with His ascension and the gift of the Spirit (Jn. 16:5-7, 20:17, 22-23). In some sense His resurrection included His ascension and culminated in the gift of the Spirit. Though it is absolutely and wonderfully true that Jesus rose up from the dead on the third day, the resurrection was not fully proven and proclaimed until the fiftieth day. This is because the resurrection of Jesus is not merely a man coming back from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is God conquering the power of sin and death and Satan and beginning a new world. This is why we must insist the resurrection of Jesus means radical transformation of lives, families, cities, nations, and the entire course of history. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead to leave us or the world unchanged; He rose to renovate everything.
This Means Repentance
Paul goes on immediately, after proclaiming that Easter means the vigorous growth of the Church, to insist that this means repentance from sin and the lifestyles of pagans. If Jesus is risen, put on the new man and kill the old one (Eph. 4:22-24ff).
This Means Joy
Easter means that our enemies are on the run (Ps. 68:12-14, 17-23). Easter means that God is plundering the nations for His glory and our good (Ps. 68:13, 17-18). Easter means that our Risen Savior asks us, “Why are you are weeping?” (Jn. 20:15) Easter means that we have the peace of Jesus (Jn. 20:19). Easter means that the Spirit-wine of God has filled us with songs of joy (Ps. 68:25, Eph. 5:18-19, Acts 2:13-17).
This Means Boldness
Because Jesus is alive, He gives His people power by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, cf. Rom. 1:4). God’s people have superpowers. Those powers include: repentance, forgiveness, humility, gentleness, patience, love, peace-making, bold and effective preaching and teaching, and host of other gifts for the growth and building up of the body (Eph. 4:2-3, 7, 11-12, 16, 30-32).