Tuesday, November 14
Scripture: Psalm 149, 1 Corinthians 15-16
1 Corinthians 15:14 If Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe.
The resurrection of Jesus is and always has been the crux of the gospel. It’s the game changer!
In Corinth, believers were abandoning their belief in the resurrection. Paul wrote this long chapter to correct this. He reminds them of the gospel that he preached and they believed, summarized this way: Christ died for sins, as written in the scriptures, and was buried; Christ was raised to life three days later as written in the scriptures, and appeared to many. The gospel can be summarized in two couplets: Christ died and was buried; Christ was raised and appeared. The central events are death and resurrection; burial confirmed His death and appearances confirmed His resurrection.
In Athens (Acts 17), some people listened to Paul’s message until he got to the resurrection—then they sneered. But others believed. The resurrection was the tipping point. It still is. We are guilty of preaching the death without the resurrection. We make the cross the symbol of our faith when the early Christians would have made it the empty tomb. Without the resurrection, the cross is emptied of its power and significance. Jesus becomes another martyr, another casualty of evil. But the resurrection showed Him to be something greater—our Lord and Savior.
So Paul writes that if the resurrection is not true, he has nothing to preach and we have nothing to believe. Without the resurrection, there is no gospel, no eternal life, no forgiveness (15:17-18).
The resurrection is the heart of the gospel. We follow a living Savior, not the memory of a dead martyr. And we look forward to life eternal—there’s more than this life!
Today, I choose to live in the hope and joy of the resurrection!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being our resurrected Savior, and for the hope of eternal life. Help me today to live “raised with Christ.”