In a few days, we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We will commemorate the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem the lost. The message of the Gospel is one of forgiveness and mercy. It is a message of peace and purpose. The Gospel is a message that should inspire hope. But why can it do this?
The Gospel’s victory over death means that we do not have to fear what happens after we transition from this life. We fear death because we do not know what awaits us on the other side. But, in the resurrection of Jesus, we now know.
The apostle Paul describes the situation using the sharpest contrast possible. Let’s read what he told the Corinthian church.
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.1 Corinthians 15:13-20 NKJV
The connection between our hope for what comes after death in this world is directly and inseparably tied to Jesus’s resurrection. If Jesus did not rise, then there was no victory over death. Death would have in fact won. And what we are preaching is not true, not helpful, and not worthy of being believed.
When we hear the Gospel, we are hearing the sound of victory!
When we believe the Gospel, we become participants in the victory Jesus has won for us.
It does not matter if we do not feel worthy of it. The victory is still ours.
I am so thankful for this reality of the Gospel. I am thankful that when I did not have the tools or the strength for a battle, Jesus came and won the war.
To God be the glory for he has won the victory!