Summary: The two most important issues in the Christian faith is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
The two greatest events in the history of human civilization is what happened on the Good Friday and Easter Sunday two thousand years ago.
And the most important fact in the history of information is that Jesus Christ died and rose again from the dead!
It has been said that to subtract that fact from Christianity is to take away its very fabric and foundation.
The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthian church, describes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as "of first importance" (NASB, NIV).
You might be wondering why the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important issues of the Christian faith.
Here's the answer:
I. The Death of Christ is God's Provision for Salvation (v. 3)
The Apostle Paul is very clear in saying that Christ death is "for our sins". The preposition "for" suggests the idea of substitution., Therefore, the statement tells us that Christ's death is the "substitute" for own punishment because of sin (cf. Rom. 6:23).
The idea of substitutionary death might be perplexing for some. For how could someone died to pay the penalty on our behalf. But this concept is never foreign to the Bible. In the Old Testament, in the annual event called the "Day of Atonement" when the high priest would killed a goat for the sin offering of the people which he sprinkled in front of and on the atonement cover (Lev. 16:15). Symbolically, the blood of the goat provided atonement for the Israelites.
But in the New Testament, Christ, in his death, became the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Thus his death is Go's provision for the salvation of human race.
It is God's way of showing mercy and grace to the helpless and hopeless humans who cannot and will never save themselves with their effort.
Through His substitutionary death, Christ carried our shame and condemnation. We can now experience forgiveness and salvation from the penalty of sin because he died on our behalf.
He was humiliated that He might reconcile us to God. He became naked that He might cloth us with purity and glory. He was condemned that He might justify us guilt of sin. And He died that we might live.
II. The Resurrection of Christ is God's Expression of Assurance (v.4)
One of the greatest claim of Christianity is that Christ has risen from the dead. His resurrection becomes one of the two most important issues of the Christian faith for without which our faith is worthless (cf. 1 Cor. 15:17).
The Bible is clear enough to declare that Christ really rose from the dead. Thereby, it gives us assurance that our faith rests on the solid truth and reality.
A well-known expositor, S. Lewis Johnson, writes,
"The resurrection is God's 'Amen' to Christ's statement, 'It is finished.'"
God guaranteed the efficacy of Christ's atoning sacrifice through His undeniable resurrection. For what good is the dead Saviour.
If Jesus was not resurrected our salvation from the penalty of sin is doubtful! But thanks be to God Jesus conquered the power of death and He rose up from the grave!
Another amazing thing about His resurrection is it gives us assurance of our (Christians) own resurrection when He comes.
Contextually, the purpose of the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is to persuade the Corinthian believers of the reality and certainty of believers' own resurrection. Paul did this persuasion on the basis of Christ's resurrection.
Hence, just as Christ rose from the dead, so shall all those who truly believes in Him when He comes.
This is our enduring hope at the backdrop of inevitable aging, diseases and impending destruction.
On the first Good Friday, Christ was hanged on the cross bloody and condemned for our sins. But on the first Easter Sunday, behind the bloody cross there lies an empty tomb. Our Saviour has risen. He is victorious. Praise God for this marvelous truths!
Lenten Season is not a season of mourning and sadness. It is the season of celebration. For the greatest problem of humanity has been solved by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This should motivate us to express our gratitude by serving Him. Submitting our lives to Christ is the least thing we can do for the greatest thing He has done.
"With His blood he has saved us; with His power He has raise us". Indeed, to God alone be the glory.