Embrace His Death and Resurrection
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:3
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
We often use the word gospel when referring to Jesus and what we believe. The Apostle Paul, in our scripture passage for today, clarifies its true meaning. Look closely at the printed key verse for today and note this phrase: “I passed on to you as of first importance.” The New Living Translation puts it in our daily verbiage: “I passed on to you what was most important.” What is the most important element of the gospel? In fact, what element of the gospel—if eliminated—would reduce it to no gospel at all?
The answer to those questions: Jesus was “buried, that He was raised on the third day…” (vs. 4). This is our gospel—the death and resurrection of Jesus. If we don’t believe this to the point that we would suffer ourselves for it, then in Paul’s words: “You have believed in vain” (vs. 2). This gospel sets Jesus apart from all the other religious leaders in His day and down through the ages. No other prophet or religious teacher ever even made this claim. Yet, this is our gospel; this is what Jesus said of Himself that He would do: die and on the third day rise.
The early church had many eye witnesses to this element of the gospel. Jesus appeared to more than 500 people after His resurrection. He appeared to the apostles and later to the Apostle Paul himself. We cannot allow our beliefs to downplay or, God forbid, eliminate this precept of the gospel!
Father, you so loved us that you willingly sent Jesus to die for our sins. I will live in heaven for eternity because of this gospel! In Jesus’ name, amen.