“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” Following your acceptance of Christ’s death upon the cross, you must embrace the reason for His death. Many will agree that Christ died upon the cross, but they refuse to accept the reason for His death.
Jesus was God in flesh. He was the eternal God-Man. He was wholly God and wholly man. He lived a life without sin. Christ died on the cross, but He did not die because He had committed deeds worthy of death. Jesus died on the cross in our place. He died for our sin. Jesus Christ offered Himself the atoning sacrifice for sin.
He embraced the death of the cross, and the righteous judgment of the Father so we could escape death and judgment. The Righteous died so the sinful could possess eternal life! He fully and eternally satisfied the righteous demands of God, fully atoning for our sin. Jesus died for you and me! As the scripture says; “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Heb.9:28 –
“So, Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb 9:28). 1 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24). Paul affirms that Christ was buried following His sacrificial death upon the cross. One must embrace the borrowed tomb in order to receive the Gospel.
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A stone was placed in front of the door, weighing several tons, and guards were ordered to watch the grave to ensure no one came to steal His body. There can be no doubt that Christ died upon the cross. He did not pass out and later revive as some speculate; Christ gave His life on the cross for our sin!
Mark 15:44-46 says; “And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulcher.”
Finally, we come to the last, and arguably most vital truth of the Gospel –the resurrection. Jesus died upon the cross to atone for our sin and was buried. However, the grave could not hold Him. After three days within the tomb, Jesus came forth in triumphant, resurrection life. He conquered sin, death, and hell, gaining the victory for all who believe. It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of the resurrection. Granted, had Jesus not died, there would have been no atonement for sin. But, had He not risen again, the curse of death, the penalty for sin would not have been broken.
Had Christ not risen, He would have been like all other men who came before Him. The plan of redemption for humanity was fulfilled as Christ rose, triumphant from the grave. Because He lives, we have the promise of life beyond the grave and eternal life with Him in heaven. You cannot embrace the Gospel and deny the resurrection! As the word says, “if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17).
Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. This is a providential Truth–Twice in these verses Paul said: according to the scriptures. We must understand that the events involved in the Gospel were no accident. Jesus did not die because the religious leadership among the Jews and the powers that be consented to His death.
Consider: The Reception Paul shared what he had received. He publicly professed his belief in the Gospel, revealing he had personally received it by faith. He identified with the crucified and risen Savior. Paul knew Christ as his Lord. Once presented and understood, the Gospel demands a response. Such a response is personal in nature.
I cannot receive the Gospel for you. I am secure in Christ, but my salvation through Him is non-transferable. As I received Christ by faith, my life was completely and eternally transformed. The old man of sin died and I was resurrected a new creation in Christ. One cannot receive the Gospel and remain as they were. The Gospel always brings transformation!
The Declaration–Having received salvation, Paul was compelled to share it with others. He did not keep the good news of the Gospel to himself. He delivered the message of the Gospel to all who would hear. Paul was faithful to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. As believers, being transformed by the power of the Gospel, we have an obligation to proclaim the good news to those who have yet to receive it.
This is not optional; it is expected of everyone who has received salvation in Christ. We must be willing to share the good news with others! Matt.28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Conclusion: You have heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. You are now responsible for what you have heard. If you are unsaved, respond in repentance and faith for salvation. If you are already saved, I pray the Gospel will be central in your life and you will share the good news!