“But in Fact…”

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel… as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures… Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:1,3-4,12-20

Everything that matters hinges on the resurrection of Jesus. If He was just a great man and teacher, who modeled a righteous life but died like the rest of humanity, this helps us for a time, but leaves us facing the end of our days with some puffy pride, warm feelings, and a heavily-tilted scale, but no eternal hope. If He was just a substitute who died in our place, taking on Himself the penalty for our sin, but did not rise victorious, we have no freedom. If He fulfilled part of the scriptures in His being born of the seed of Abraham, in the royal line of David, yet did not rise again, God’s word has not proven fully true and His reputation is at stake. The very gospel, and our faith in it, is founded on the resurrection of our Savior and Redeemer. (Romans 6:5-6)

And in fact, He has been raised! Victor over sin and death! Our living hope for the present and all eternity! Reconciler to make us righteous and equip us with power! (Luke 24:1-7; John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:54-55; 2 Corinthians 5:20-21; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 5:9)

Why would I doubt His promises or my worth as His child, why languish in besetting sin, why fear suffering or the future, when Jesus my Victor is alive, and reigns? (Psalm 9:7,11)

O God who raised my Lord, raise me by Your power to live victoriously over all the world’s enticements and the fawning of the flesh. Raise my sights to behold daily Your majestic glory, and to reflect You as worthy to be trusted to those who know You not. “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 6:14; Hebrews 13:20-21)

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