READING: Psalms 146-147, 1 Corinthians 15:1-28
“He was raised on the third day.”
1 Corinthians 15:4
May I be honest with you? I take the resurrection of Jesus for granted.
I remember years ago standing at a site in Israel that scholars believe might have been Jesus’ burial place, and I was filled with wonder. He was not there. I had been a believer about four years, and my faith was validated by an empty tomb.
That was many years ago, and I fear I’ve lost some of my wonder. I know for certain that I haven’t meditated enough on the resurrection, especially after reading today’s New Testament passage. Paul spent significant time affirming the resurrection, first by citing historical witnesses of the resurrected Lord and second by showing the significance of the resurrection. Peter saw Jesus. So did the Twelve, apparently including Mathias. More than 500 believers saw Jesus at one time. James saw Him, other apostles saw Him, and even Paul himself saw Him (1 Cor. 15:1-8). With so many witnesses, it’s hard to come up with some explanation for the resurrection other than “it happened.”
Moreover, the resurrection is critical to our Christian faith. If Christ did not overcome death, the proclamation of the Good News has no foundation. If He is still in the grave, He could not have paid the penalty for our sin or broken death’s chains. We would still be in our sins, and our “faith is worthless” (1 Cor. 15:17). Those who have died before us would have only perished, and any hope we have that is limited to this world would make little sense.
History changed, though, when Jesus came forth from the grave. He defeated death, and we who follow Him have the promise of resurrection, too. That truth not only gives us hope for the future, but it also changes the way we live today. Regardless of what we face in this world, we know the best is yet to come. Death may sometimes still frighten us, but Jesus has won that battle. In Him, we are alive now and “will be made alive” in the future (1 Cor. 15:22). My joy today ought to be ongoing and intense because Jesus is alive.
Thus, the resurrection matters – and may God help me to remember that truth every day.
- Meditate on the miracle of the resurrection throughout this day.
- Praise God all day long.
PRAYER: “Lord, I praise You that Jesus overcame death. Help me to live today in the light of that truth.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 148-150, 1 Corinthians 15:29-58