The apostle Paul was used by God to write half of the books which make up the New Testament. When he summarized God’s good news—the gospel—he used these words:
“I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Here, Paul reminds us that God’s plan to redeem mankind was not a completely new revelation. The birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ were all foretold in the Old Testament. Everything Jesus did was truly “according to the Scriptures.” As Paul preached the message given to him by God, he focused on these main points:
Why did Jesus die? Paul tells us that Jesus died “for our sins.” The selfish, disobedient, ungodly, unholy things we do make us unfit for God’s presence. Our sins separate us from God. Despite our best efforts, we cannot remove the stain of sin from our hearts. Because God is holy and just, He cannot simply overlook sin. But don’t despair—God’s love has made a way!
In great love, God determined that He would provide for our salvation. He sent Jesus, His Son, into the world to conquer sin. When Jesus laid down His life on the cross, our sin was laid on Him. Jesus became our substitute, and God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This might seem to be an odd detail to include in the gospel message: “He was buried.” Why was it necessary to mention this detail? Well, if we fail to remember that Jesus was buried, we might miss the impact of the first statement. Jesus died. The immortal Son of God took on human flesh and humbled Himself to die a brutal, shameful death so we can be forgiven of our sins and set free into a new relationship with God.
Without the tomb, we can also lose sight of the breathless pause as all creation waited to see what would happen next. Had God’s plan been thwarted? Would death have power over Him? Thank God, “it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:24).
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the heart of Christianity. This miraculous event …
Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can be assured that God was well-pleased with His sacrifice on our behalf. And if Jesus’ death and resurrection was good enough for God, shouldn’t it be good enough for us, too? the Bible says that we are saved from our sins through faith in the finished work of Jesus, and not through our own efforts at religion or self-improvement. “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Do you want to experience God’s forgiveness? Acknowledge your sinfulness, and turn to Him today. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who paid the price you could never pay. Call out to Him in your own words; talk to Him from your heart, and He will hear you!
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).