In I Corinthians 2:3, the Apostle Paul described his ministry in the Corinthian
church by saying, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and
the end of the same letter, Paul drove home the reality of the resurrection by
declaring, “If Christ has not been raise, your faith is futile… and we are of
all people most to be pitied. But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the
dead.” (I Corinthians 15:17-20)
“bookends” around I Corinthians point to the great mystery that drives our
Christian faith. I was once asked whether Jesus’ crucifixion or his
resurrection was more important, but Paul makes it clear that the two cannot be
separated. Without the resurrection, Jesus’ death on the cross would only have
proven that he was the fraud and blasphemer that his enemies said he was.
Without his agonizing death on the cross, the resurrection would have been a
façade, a kind of play-acting with no significance.
amazing truth is that Jesus’ crucifixion was both the greatest sin ever
committed and the necessary means for God to forgive and save sinners. The
resurrection did not overturn or reject Jesus’ death, but validated it and
affirmed that it was not God’s curse upon him, but God’s mission for him.
is the astounding, life-altering truth that is re-told each year during Holy
Week and it’s great, of course; that so many people worship on Easter, but that
provides only half of the story. If we have not stood at the foot of the cross,
the wonder of the empty tomb is hard to perceive, just as the cross would be
only depressing if we did not follow the women to Jesus’ tomb and rejoice at
its miraculous emptiness.
you have not joined in the whole cycle weekly worship; I urge you to enter into
it fully this year. If that has been your practice, I urge you to continue it.
As we walk with Jesus through His life and into the wonder of our salvation, we
not only hear this good news, but experience it. We receive it not as mere
information, but enter into it. It is not only another rehearsal of an old
story, but the true way through which God works by the Holy Spirit to give us
faith and new life. What a gift! What a privilege! So, I hope to see you in
In His Grip,