Friday, July 2, 2010


I can not begin to tell you how many times I have heard that Jesus died for my sins. We hear and sing about the "old rugged murder weapon" and the blood Jesus shed for us. Good preachers remind us that when Jesus shed His blood, it was another way of stating that He gave up His life for us. Israel understood that the person's life was in the blood (Lev. 17:11). We are reminded that His death fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the crucifixion, as were those He taught His disciples. I am not sure they understood it all because Peter was taken to task for arguing with Jesus about His pending death (Matt. 16:23).

A perfect example of His followers "missing the point" concerning His presence in the world were the two men who gave up hope and decided to return home to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-32). Jesus had been crucified. Their hope that He was the long-awaited Messiah had been dashed at Golgotha (v. 21). After Jesus joined them on their journey and they explained to Him why they were so distraught, Jesus said, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" He then told them all that Moses and the prophets had said concerning Him. Notice that He taught them from the Old Testament the things that would happen to Him.

It is important to be reminded of the Lord's death for us, and He even instituted the Lord's Supper to keep His people aware that His death was only part of the equation (1 Cor. 11:23-26). If He is going to return, then He is alive! The Apostle Paul spelled out what must be believed in order for someone to be born again. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, he says that Christ's death, burial, and resurrection occurred according to the Scriptures (the Old Testament prophecies concerning Him). Even unbelievers, for the most part, believe that a man named Jesus lived, and that He died. Their problem is that they do not believe that Jesus rose from the grave. Some even believe that His spirit is alive, but the Word teaches that He rose bodily, and that he appeared to many (1 Cor. 15:5-7). He ate with them, and cooked a meal for them (Jn. 21:12-14).

Yes, Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, that He was crucified for our sins, and that He arose from the grave as He predicted. But I am afraid that the significance of His resurrection is neglected when Christians tell others about Him. If Jesus had remained in His grave, absolutely no one would be saved from their sins. Paul wrote that it is His resurrection that provides us with saving faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:12-57, it is His resurrection that proves God has accepted His payment for the sins of the world. In fact, Paul said that if there were no such thing as a resurrection, then Jesus was a liar, and we are all still in our sins (vv. 12-17). So, not only does our salvation depend upon Christ's resurrection, our hope for eternity is totally based upon it as well. He is risen! Praise God!

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