Martin Luther wrote, “It’s very hard for a man to believe that God is gracious to him. The human heart can’t grasp this.”
Christ’s resurrection was an act of God to vindicate what his death achieved. Paul writes, “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification,” (Rom. 4:25).
The foundation of the Gospel message is the resurrection. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:14a, “14a and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” Without the resurrection the Gospel would be nonsense, completely meaningless. The Gospel would not be Good News it would be Worthless News. If the resurrection is eliminated, the life-giving power of the Gospel is eliminated.
Not only would the preaching of the Gospel be meaningless, believing it would be as well. Paul says “…your faith also is vain.” It is vain, worthless to be believe in a worthless message. A dead Savior cannot give life, hope, and forgiveness of sin or victory over death. Without the resurrection, the Gospel would be an empty message about a defeated man who died a pointless death. There would be nothing to believe in.
The resurrection of Christ is the foundation on which all the truths of the Christian faith rest.
Henry Morris has written,
“The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the Apostles, no matter how great or marvelous, is secondary to the Resurrection in importance. If the Resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.”
The foundation of the Gospel message is the resurrection.
Without the resurrection, Christianity would take its place alongside all other man-made religions, human philosophies and religious speculation. If Jesus did not rise physically from the dead there is no Gospel to proclaim!
“But,” as Paul writes, “…Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep,” (1 Cor. 15:20). Christ is the “first fruits.” Christ’s resurrection was a first installment of a much larger resurrection that is to come (i.e., all believers)!
The Lord has risen! God has vindicated Christ’s work of atonement. Christ has been “declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead,” (Rom. 1:4a).
Therefore, understand this: God is exceedingly gracious toward you!
Christ’s resurrection vindicates the graciousness of God!
This is Good News!
And so with the Psalmist let us shout for joy and sing with passion and gratitude:
1 I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable….
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
9 The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works! (Ps. 145:1-3, 8-9)