Summary: Jesus’ resurrection consumated the salvation work of God for every sinner. The Lord’s death, burial and resurrection all come together in baptism, too.
Did you know that it was Sunday when God began creation? The first day of the week God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light! And God saw the light that it was good.
It was Sunday.
Did you know that it was Sunday when Jesus was raised from the dead?
The first day of the week those women went out to the tomb and found it empty!
It was Sunday morning when they saw the angels who said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here! Come and see the place where they laid him. Go tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead!”
It was Sunday.
Did you know that it was Sunday when the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles and the Church was born? That first day of the week Peter preached to the crowds that gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost and told them that the very Jesus whom they had crucified and buried had been raised from the dead and ascended to the throne in heaven.
It was Sunday.
Peter said, “God has made him both Lord and Christ, this very Jesus whom you crucified!” That first day of the week about 3000 souls were saved when, hearing this gospel, faith was stirred and confessing their sins, they repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It was Sunday! The first day of the week!
The glorious gospel message began to sound out and to save the world on Sunday. What wonderful events have happened and had their beginnings on Sunday! Perhaps, Jesus will return on a Sunday. He may even return today. Wouldn’t that be a glorious blessing!
Imagine that you have a card and on it are these words: It would be wonderful if the Lord returned right now! Check: “yes” or “no.” If there is anyone here that would not check “yes” and underline it and circle it with bold circles, then you really need to hear this message. The rest of us that check “yes” want you to be ready and be with us in glory when Jesus comes. Hear now the gospel:
1 Corinthians 15:1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
We see that there are three great pillars of the gospel here: the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1. The first is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.
In this sense the gospel begins at the cross. The cross, where our Savior took our place.
I suppose that most people in America have heard about the cross. But only a few have committed their lives to the Lord who died for them there.
Let us consider for a few moments the cross of Christ.
As we come to the cross of Christ and consider the work of God performed there, know this… Everything I am in Christ and everything I hope for in heaven I owe to what Jesus did for me there, on that cross. There is no power in preaching without the cross. There is no hope of heaven without the cross. All the faith, repenting, confessing, praying and being baptized in the world would accomplish nothing were it not for the cross. There is no real point in the New Testament, or Old for that matter, without the cross. Every sacrifice in the Old Testament points to the cross.
One of the first impressive statements about Jesus in the New Testament is made by John the Baptist when he saw Jesus and said to some of his disciples, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” And how did this Lamb of God take away the sins of the world? He was slain… sacrificed… on the cross.
Paul, who had once tried to destroy Christianity later said, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God for salvation.” I Cor. 1:18 Then he said, “2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” In other words: "When I came preaching, I came preaching about Jesus and the cross."