I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me.
Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised
from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NLT)
Have you ever heard someone share the Gospel or an Easter message and focus on the cruelty of the cross and the extent of Christ’s suffering and barely talk about the Resurrection? I have, and I have done that without even realizing it. And, of course, the cross is a vital part of the Gospel message. Jesus died, bearing our sin. The rebellion of humanity put Him on that cross. And I am broken when I think of all He bore and how devastating all that sin heaped on Him must have been, especially when He had never known sin before that moment.
His Death Paid for Our Sin – So, What Is the Resurrection for?
- Without the Resurrection, we have no confirmation that He is Who He said He was. He is the Messiah, the Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Acts 13:27-39)
Scripture tells us that Jesus would rise from the dead, come back to life, three days after He was crucified. He foretold of His death and resurrection as well. Without the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, He would be merely a man who was martyred. End of story. However, thankfully, that is not the end of His story. He did rise from the dead and walked the earth alive for 40 days after His Resurrection until He ascended into heaven in front of many witnesses. We can put confidence in this fact and in the fact that Jesus truly is the Messiah.
“And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus.
(Acts 13:32-33, NLT)
- Without the Resurrection, we have no victory. (Rev. 20:6)
Satan may have thought he’d won. He had succeeded in getting Adam and Eve to sin. He’s succeeded in killing Jesus, or so he thought. But sin, death, Satan, and his demons have no hold over God. Jesus was and is victorious over sin and death. Because of that, we also have victory over sin and death when we choose to follow Jesus. The Resurrection proved all of this.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-57, NLT)
- Without the Resurrection, we don’t have a completed redemption. (1 Corinthians 15:17)
Through the Resurrection our redemption is complete. Jesus paid for our sins and then conquered them. He is the final sacrifice paying for the sin of humanity. He is the victor who overcame what we could not overcome: sin and death. He reconciled us to God through His Resurrection. Without His Resurrection, we would have no hope of our own resurrections. Death would just be the end.
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away.
Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
(Colossians 2:12-13, NLT)
Just as believing and repentance are inseparable for salvation, the death and Resurrection of Jesus are inseparable as well. We separate them because they are separate events in our minds with three days in between. I believe those three days are there to help us realize Christ was truly dead. The two “events” are actually one completed action. Like 1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still guilty of your sins.” (NLT)
When we follow Christ, we also see the picture of our own death and resurrection here and in the hope for eternity. When we are baptized, we say, “Buried with Christ in baptism; raised to walk in new life.” We are raised to life to serve Christ now. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (NLT)