Sunday, April 12, 2020
Today is the day in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, claimed Paul, and your faith is in vain (I Corinthians 15:14). He goes on, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sin” (I Corinthians 15:17). Satan, through mankind’s sin, may have bruised Christ on the heel, but He has bruised the devil once and for all in a fatal way through His Resurrection from the dead (Genesis 3:15 and I Corinthians 15:26-27, 54-55).
For indeed, Hebrews 6:1-2 teaches, the resurrection of Christ is one of the “elementary teachings about Christ,” which is required for maturity. The other elementary things being “repentance from dead works,” “faith toward God,” “instruction about washings (baptism) and laying on of hands” and “eternal judgment.”
You see, Paul in I Corinthians 15:3 says, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. . .” However, he does not merely end with Christ’s death for us. For anyone could claim to do that, for all die, yet Christ provided the atonement for our sin. However, how credible would His atonement be without the resurrection? It is for this Paul continues in verse 4: “. . . and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than 500 brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”
And indeed, this fact provides the hope of our own resurrection. “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory, O death, where is your sting?’” (I Corinthians 15:51-55)
How wonderful is this! How wonderful to look forward to the day when we shall be like Christ! Where would our hope be without Christ’s own resurrection!