Q: In your opinion, which was more important, Jesus' death on the cross or His resurrection from the dead? Some of us were talking about this the other day in our small group Bible study, and we couldn't come to any conclusion. -- Mrs. R.L.K.

A: Both Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead are equally important; they cannot be separated from each other. Without Jesus' death, we have no hope of God's forgiveness; and without Jesus' resurrection, we have no hope of eternal life. Like the two wings of an airplane, both are essential!

Why is this? The reason is because our greatest need is to be forgiven of our sins. Sin separates us from God, and until we're forgiven and cleansed of our sins, we have no hope of eternal life in heaven. But we can't cleanse ourselves of our sins, no matter how hard we try -- and that's why we need Christ. He was without sin, but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He took the judgment we deserve. In other words, on the cross Jesus became the final and complete sacrifice for our sins.

But by His resurrection, Jesus broke the power of sin and death and hell and Satan -- and now we no longer need to fear what lies beyond the grave! Jesus' resurrection confirmed that God accepted His sacrifice, and by putting our faith and trust in Him we will be saved.

Just days ago, millions of Christians around the world celebrated Jesus' death on Good Friday, and then His resurrection on Easter. Is your faith and hope in Him? The Bible's words are true: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org.)

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