The significance of Jesus’ resurrection for Christians is everything. Everything hinges on this one act after Jesus was crucified. Jesus would have died in vain had the resurrection not happened. Moreover, had Jesus not resurrected, there would have been no defeat of death, in which death was a price for sin; hence, sin would not have been defeated and the Glorification of Jesus would have stopped right there.
Another thought on the significance is, If Jesus would not have resurrected from the grave, how would the Holy Spirit come as He did in Acts 2:2? This thought ties in with the previous thoughts on Jesus’ Glorification process. Acts 2:2 is the famous account of the dissension of the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus could send Him; to be a comfort to us, and to be a guide so that the work of Jesus could continue. Once the Holy Spirit descended upon those on the Day of Pentecost, the additions of many to God’s Kingdom became an earthly reality.
When the ascension took place of our Lord, He not only ascended into Heaven, but to a very special place'”to sit at the “right hand of the Father,” as the Apostle Peter preached in Acts 2:34 and wrote about in I Peter 3:22. This place seems to cause a lot of discussion for many people, specifically on what this position means. Hector Morrison wrote a fascinating article called The Ascension of Jesus and the Gift of the Holy Spirit, and he explains that this seating was the completion of Jesus’ Glorification process. I highly encourage my fellow studiers to read it, because it gave me a better understanding of the Glorification process of Jesus and most of all, a better understanding of how the Holy Spirit was given liberty to come down to dwell in us who believe as written in Acts chapter two. Lastly, the right hand of God is a place of prominence and authority and a place only Jesus could fill.
On the thoughts of Theophilus; At first glance, the name of Theophilus seems to sound like a true name given to someone at birth, however, on studying the name, one comes to find out that the word is more of a title rather than someone’s name. Theophilus was indeed a man, since the title is masculine in nature. In the Greek, Theophilus means, “friend of God.” Luke was writing to an actual person, but who Theophilus was still remains a mystery. Many scholars believe Theophilus was a relative of Caesar; therefore, Luke was keeping his identity anonymous to protect him from persecution. There is another thought as well that it was someone very close to Luke who mentored and paid for his doctorate, kind of like a father-figure to him since he was raised by his mother and grandmother. Bock has a different twist on who Theophilus could have been, and he mentions on page 52 that Theophilus could be a Gentile Christian who was wavering in his faith.
I believe Theophilus was a title of a specific man, much like we use the word, “Mayor” or “Senator” to acknowledge title, but I will not speculate any further on who Theophilus was other than he was a real person and someone in a highly astute position. In any case, Theophilus was a very important man to Luke; important enough to dedicate two books to him in the New Testament.
Biblos.com, “Theophilos,” strongsnumbers.com, http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/2321.htm (accessed March 23, 2011).
Bock, Darrell L. Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 52.
Morrison, Hector, 2007. “The Ascension of Jesus and the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” Evangel 25, no. 2: p.37. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 23, 2011).
Purves, Jim, 2005. “The ethical significance of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.” Journal of European Baptist Studies 6, no. 1: 18-31. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 23, 2011).