To Achieve His Own Resurrection from the Dead
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead
our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
equip you with everything good that you may do his will.
The death of Christ did not merely precede his resurrection—it was the price that obtained it. That’s why Hebrews 13:20 says that God brought him from the dead “by the blood of the eternal covenant.”
The “blood of the … covenant” is the blood of Jesus. As he said, “This is my blood of the covenant” (Matthew 26:28). When the Bible speaks of the blood of Jesus, it refers to his death. No salvation would be accomplished by the mere bleeding of Jesus. His bleeding to death is what makes his blood-shedding crucial.
Now what is the relationship between this shedding of Jesus’ blood and the resurrection? The Bible says he was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so perfect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ’s achievement in death.
The wrath of God was satisfied with the suffering and death of Jesus. The holy curse against sin was fully absorbed. The obedience of Christ was completed to the fullest measure. The price of forgiveness was totally paid. The righteousness of God was completely vindicated. All that was left to accomplish was the public declaration of God’s endorsement. This he gave by raising Jesus from the dead.
When the Bible says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17), the point is not that the resurrection is the price paid for our sins. The point is that the resurrection proves that the death of Jesus is an all-sufficient price. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then his death was a failure, God did not vindicate his sin-bearing achievement, and we are still in our sins.
But in fact “Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Romans 6:4). The success of his suffering and death was vindicated. And if we put our trust in Christ, we are not still in our sins. For “by the blood of the eternal covenant,” the Great Shepherd has been raised and lives forever.
— John Piper