September 26, 2014
I Corinthians 15:1-4
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
If you have been following the last four blogs of Gospel Enigma, I think you can see the complexity of the Good News. Yes, it is also simple. But an enigma is, according to Webster, “a perplexing or baffling matter….” Its simplicity is seen in Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved….” (Acts 16:31). Its complexity in I Corinthians 15:1 through 4:
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you,
which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are
saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you
believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also re-
ceived: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and
that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to
Let’s look at the last of three declarations Paul makes in verses 3 and 4:
Verse 4 – “…Christ….rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” On the truth of this statement stands the whole validity of the Gospel! Paul gives it as an intrinsic part of salvation in Romans 10:9: “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” So why is the resurrection so important? There are several reasons:
• Jesus had said several times He would rise from the dead, as He did in Matthew 16:21: “…Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must…be killed, and be raised again the third day.” (see also Matthew 17:23, 20:19, 27:63; Mark 8:31, 10:34; Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:46; John 10:18). If He didn’t rise from the grave, He would be considered a liar or a false prophet according to Deuteronomy 18:20 through 22!
• The Old Testament scriptures predicted He would be resurrected through prophesy and types. In Acts 2:29 through 32, Peter, in his Pentecost sermon, quoted Psalm 16:9 through 11 as such a prophesy applied to the Messiah:
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest
in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your
Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life….
Consider also Hosea 6:1 and 2:
…He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that
we may live in His sight.
And in Isaiah 53:10 it is written:
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You
make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong
His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
In Genesis 22:1 through 14, Isaac is seen to typify Christ as the obedient sacrifice when Abraham was commanded by God to offer his own son as a burnt offering. According to Hebrews 11:17 through 19, that type of Isaac also included the resurrection:
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac…accounting that
God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also re-
ceived him in a figurative sense.
Another type of Christ was “…Melchizedek king of Salem…and…priest of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18). According to Hebrews 7:2 and 3, this “‘…king of righteousness’ and…‘king of peace’…” is described as “…without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God…a priest continually.” Then in Hebrews 7:16 and 17, God testified, “…according to the power of an endless life… ‘You are made a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’ ”
And so it is written in Luke 24:45 and 46 concerning Jesus’ interaction with the Emmaus Road disciples:
…He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the [Old
Testament] Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it was necessary for
the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.”
• The resurrection is God the Father’s stamp of approval on the work of God the Son at Golgatha. The author of Hebrew put it this way in chapter 10 and verse 10: “…we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
• It had to be a living Savior who, as High Priest, presented that offering of Himself before the Father. In Hebrews 9:11 and 12 it says, “…Christ came as High Priest…with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
• The sending of the Holy Spirit necessitated a living Lord – John 16:7: “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
• It is also the living Lord who carries on the intercession ministry described in Hebrews 7:24 and 25:
…He continues forever…an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also
able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He
ever lives to make intercession for them.
This blog is already too long! I will finish the series Gospel Enigma next Monday.