Scripture reading for August 23rd: 1st Corinthians 15:1-28
The Gospel message is the power of God for salvation. Paul clearly stated this powerful Gospel in just a few words: “By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, the He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. . “ (1st Corinthians 15:2-4)
In order to be saved, we must believe the Gospel. Paul’s simple explanation of the Gospel reveals to us the essentials of what makes up the ‘good news’. We must hold firmly to all aspects of this Gospel. The first essential is that Christ died for our sins. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He could die for our sins because He, Himself, never sinned by breaking God’s laws. His life wasn’t taken by the force or power of men in authority. He willingly gave up His life for the purpose taking the penalty for man’s sins as their substitute.
Christ actually died. His body was a human body and He suffered willingly the brutal death of Roman crucifixion. He was scourged by Roman soldiers, carried His cross until another helped Him, and then was bodily nailed to that cross. It was there, on the cross, that Jesus gave up His life. His last words were “It is finished.” (John 19:30) One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ body and heart with a spear to make sure He was dead. Blood and water came out. (John 19:33-35) Jesus’ body was placed in a borrowed tomb that had never been used. (John 19:40-42) His body was wrapped in grave clothes and covered with about 75 pounds of spices. A stone was rolled over the mouth of the tomb.
Jesus rose again from the dead on the third day! Eyewitnesses saw the empty tomb! Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John saw the tomb and grave clothes neatly folded. (John 20:3-7) Paul states that five hundred people at once saw Jesus alive. The apostles saw and touched His body and Paul, himself, saw Jesus alive! Because He lives, we can live too! Christ rose from the dead and we will also be raised when the end comes and Jesus returns! (1st Corinthians 15:20-24) Praise the Lord!