After pondering over this statement, the realization that was drawn was an interesting one. With "the resurrection as the basis of eternal life that is promised to all who believe in Jesus Christ,"1 the resurrection can be a sign, but is it?
There are seven miracles throughout the Gospel of John. Some say there are eight (John 21) and this final miracle ties all of them together. Just like with the seven "I Am" statements. There is an eighth, "I am that I am."
Is the resurrection a sign in the Gospel? Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and rose from the dead. He is alive. The Bible tells us that without the resurrection, we would not have Christianity because the resurrection is a significant part of our faith (1 Cor 15:17). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3) and rose from the dead (1 Cor 15:20). For without the resurrection, we would have no hope.
It is not a sign because all the signs throughout the gospel of John took care of the physical needs such as death (raising of Lazarus in John 11), sickness (healing at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5), and hunger (feeding of the 5,000 men in John 6), which glorified Jesus and the Father. The resurrection pulls the other signs together. The resurrection takes care of the spiritual needs not the physical needs. If Jesus never resurrected or ascended into heaven, then we would be praying to a dead god and the very Rock we put our trust in does not exist. The difference between Christianity and other religions is that our God [Jesus] is alive. "John gives details about the resurrection and that his purpose for writing the book grows out of an understanding of the resurrection" (John 20:31).2
1. Elmer L. Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live (Tennessee: AMG Publishers, 2002), 199.
2. Rev. Ed. Of: Nelson’s quick reference Bible Handbook. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.,1995), 235.