PFOA Apostles' Creed: The third day he rose again from the dead

Read 1 Cor. 15

If there is anything distinctive or unique about the Christian Faith, it is our belief in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul states the essence of the gospel in vv.3-4 "... 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". Christ died for our sins, he was buried, on the third day he was raised. His resurrection was attested to by Peter, the Twelve and over 500 others. The enemies of Christ recognise the significance of this event too, but despite many attempts over the last two millennia, no one has been able to contradict this historical record. They may disbelieve it, reject it, but they cannot disprove it.

Paul recognised the resurrection of Christ as crucial to us, and went to great lengths in 1 Cor. 15 to explain its implications. If Christ was not raised, then our faith and ministry is useless. If Christ was not raised, our faith is futile, our sins are not dealt with, and living with the hope of being resurrected with Christ is a thing to be pitied. In fact there is no reason not to join with the world to "eat and drink, for tomorrow we die" and become nothing.

But we trust Christ, the Son of God. His "Resurrection is the event which completes the work of Redemption". Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we are justified by his resurrection. At the cross, God declares "He who believes in My son has eternal life, he who does not believe in Him is condemned already". There is a judgement at the end of time. The believer whose eternal life begins in history will have resurrected life in the Kingdom of God. Those who reject Christ will be condemn in that final judgement and rejected.

What impact has Christ's resurrection on our lives today? What about your weaknesses, your pain, your sicknesses? Queen Victoria was reported to have said, "There is nothing the resurrection cannot fix". Paul ends the chapter with v. 58, "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain". Is this your goal, or is your a short-term one for just the next 10, 20 or 50 years?