Incarnation

The Importance of the Resurrection

Easter 1975

The truth of the resurrection of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:14 Paul says, “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then our preaching is vain and your faith is vain also.” Inseparably linked with the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of all those who have died in Christ. Furthermore, Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then there is no hope for believers who have died—they have perished. Moreover, he asserts that if Christ was not resurrected, preachers are false prophets and our faith is in vain.

The Importance of the Resurrection

Easter 1975

Read Matthew 28:1-10.

The truth of the resurrection of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:14 Paul says, “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then our preaching is vain and your faith is vain also.” Inseparably linked with the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of all those who have died in Christ. Furthermore, Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then there is no hope for believers who have died—they have perished. Moreover, he asserts that if Christ was not resurrected, preachers are false prophets and our faith is in vain.

The resurrection of Christ is just as important to our Christian faith and hope as the death of Christ on the Cross. Romans 14:25 says, “Jesus was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” To be saved, we must believe in the resurrection of Christ as well as His death. Romans 10:9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

There are three questions that I would like you to consider:

    How can sinful man be reconciled to a thrice-holy God? How can the infinite chasm separating deity from humanity be bridged? What ladder shall be able to rest upon earth and yet reach into heaven itself?

There is only one answer to these questions. The initial step in the work of human redemption must be the incarnation of Christ’s deity, followed by His death, resurrection, and ascension.

 

Jesus in the Midst (Luke 2)

Before they entered land of Canaan, Israel was promised a future leader by Moses when he said: "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken..." (Deut. 18:15)  From then on, Israel looked for this great Prophet that God would raise up—the Messiah—someone similar to Moses who was appointed by God to lead the nation.  Details of this Person were specific: 1) God would raise Him up; 2) His ministry would be like that of Moses and 3) He would come from one of the tribes of Israel—"from the midst of thee".  Not only would He come from Israel, but He would be active within their midst. With this latter detail, they were assured of seeing Him since His ministry would be conspicuous and central to the nation.  So imbedded was this in the national mindset, that centuries later when people witnessed the ministry of John the Baptist they asked him directly "Are you the Prophet?" (John 1:21).  Later, after John was beheaded by Herod some ascribed this title to the Lord though stating it with some uncertainty "It is the Prophet or like unto the prophets” (Mark 6:15)  But when the Lord fed the multitude, the fickle but satisfied crowd confidently proclaimed "This is truly the Prophet who has come into the world" (John 6:14) The Lord Jesus was indeed the Prophet promised to Israel long ago, the One raised up by God who ministered in their midst so there would be no mistake as to who He was.

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