Last week Pastor Rob kicked off the conclusion to our “In the City. For the City.” sermon series. Vintage Church has spent the past 2 1/2 years walking through the book of 1 Corinthians. We have finally made it to 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul discusses the importance of Jesus’ resurrection. Last night I had the opportunity to meet with my community group and talk about the resurrection. I started our time together by asking, “what do you know about the resurrection?” That quickly led to the question of “why is the resurrection important?” That led my group to ask why the resurrection was important to salvation.
It was a rich conversation. As we talked we discussed how Jesus’ death on the cross is often held as more important to salvation than his resurrection. We all agreed that Jesus’ death upon the cross was important to salvation but also came to the conclusion that the resurrection was just as important. Then I had our group turn to 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. In verse 17 Paul writes “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” Immediately my community group saw the importance of Jesus’ resurrection. The resurrection wasn’t just a nice touch, it was vital to the Gospel and salvation.
On the cross we know that Jesus took our sins upon himself. He paid for them. 1 Peter 2:24 states this very point. It says “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” So the death of Jesus on the cross is undoubtedly important. Without it we have no salvation. But the resurrection is also important. Think about the sacrifices discussed in the Old Testament. The people of Israel continually had to offer sacrifices for their sin because the animals, once sacrificed, died. They did not fully defeat sin. No sacrifice was perfect enough to truly take care of the sin problem. The book of Hebrews talks about this. “Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:11-12). Jesus took care of the sin problem. Not only did he die for our sins but then he rose, completely defeating sin. Jesus could then sit down at the right hand of the Father not because he stayed dead but because he arose from the dead. The Bible declares that through the resurrection Jesus has defeated sin and death. Romans 6:9 literally says “death no longer has dominion over him.”
The resurrection of Jesus is huge. Without it our faith is a waste of time (1 Corinthians 15:17). Ultimately every aspect of Jesus, his birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension is important to our salvation. The resurrection is a piece of the Gospel and therefore important to salvation. Without it the Gospel falls a part. Jesus had to resurrect from the dead to defeat our sin and ultimately death. We now worship a savior who has conquered sin and death and is now reigning.
Let’s not forget the importance of the resurrection. As we spend the next few weeks walking through 1 Corinthians 15 let’s be reminded of the importance of the resurrection. Jesus lives! Sin has been defeated. Death has been defeated. We are saved. Praise God!