Jesus’ death on the cross is not sufficient to provide the abundant and eternal life God has promised us. Does that statement shock you? The apostle Paul made it very clear to the Corinthian Christians:
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 1 Cor 15:17-19, NLT
Peter also knew that our eternal hope depended on the resurrection of Christ:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV
What Christ’s Death Accomplished
So why do we so often leave out the Resurrection when we share the Good News of Jesus? We don’t forget to talk about the Cross. And yes, praise God, the death of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary provided the payment that my sins – and yours – had earned. Our sins deserved the death penalty. Our sins brought us spiritual death and separation from our holy God. But Jesus Christ took that penalty on Himself. The perfect, sinless God who became man died so we could have forgiveness. But that is only part of the Gospel message.
Why We Need the Resurrection
Paul never forgot the resurrection. He knew that without it the Gospel was incomplete. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul succinctly expresses the Good News. He boils down the message to its most important components.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Cor 15:3-4
Yes, Jesus’ death paid the price of our sin, but His resurrection provided our hope for life – both now and eternally. Don’t miss these important truths:
- Jesus’ resurrection proves that everything He said and did on earth was true. See John 14:20
- Jesus’ resurrection defeated death! That victory was His and ours! See Romans 6:9
- Jesus’ resurrection provides us with new life in God. See Romans 6:10, Col 3:1
- Jesus’ resurrection guarantees our physical resurrection. See Rom 8:11, 1 Cor 15:20-21
- Jesus’ resurrection gives us power for this life. See Philippians 3:10, Romans 8:11
Have you forgotten about the resurrection? It is the power of God for those who believe! Because Christ has been raised, we will be raised! Believers, we have the same power living in us that raised Christ from the dead! Let’s shout it out!
What is the most exciting thing to you about Jesus’ resurrection?
This post originally ran on April 2, 2012.