By Allen Teal, Chaplain
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NIV).
Our lives can seem bound by deadlines. With income tax filing day coming up on Monday, April 15, 2019, many people will be scrambling to file their taxes before it’s too late. A sense of urgency will drive them forward. In a world filled with the “urgent,” it is critical to maintain a view of the “important.” The Apostle Paul warns the church to remember three important truths about Christ.
1. Christ died for our sins.
From the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden until today, people live with the stain and influence of sin. Our sense of right and wrong reminds us almost daily that we are imperfect. Because God requires sin to be either judged or cleansed, a sacrifice was necessary to make a way for our sins to be wiped from our record in heaven. Christ’s death on the cross did this for us. He became our sacrifice. One man died that every person may have the opportunity to be forgiven for his or her sins.
2. Christ was buried.
His burial offers a proof of his death. It also reminds us that our sins were buried to be gone forever. Third, he was buried in a cave-like tomb that made it easy to determine if the body was there or not when the resurrection happened. Anyone near Jerusalem had access to verify the proof of the empty grave.
3. He was raised on the third day.
These were the words of Christ that his body would be raised to life on the third day. It was not enough for him to die for sins. His resurrection stands to testify that those who follow Christ will have a personal resurrection to a new life.
April 15th may be an urgent date this year, but April 21, 2019, is a far more important date. It is a date we should anticipate and celebrate that Christ died, was buried, and was raised back to life on the third day—on Easter Sunday.