I was reading 1 Cor 15 this morning and the thought struck me like a pylon driver coming crashing down on me. And the thought was, why does it seem that in general, (Ok, so I”m guilty of making a sweeping generalisation here) the church seems to labour on the death of Christ.
Now, hear me out before you start your outcries about the importance of Christ’s death, because for the most part you will find myself nodding my head in agreement with you. But, here lays the rub; it seems to me that through my reading of Scripture that the early church didn’t so much place an emphasis on Christ’s death; instead, they emphasised his resurrection.
You see, you can’t have a resurrection without a death. Simply its impossible to have a resurrection without the death of someone… so the death of Christ is a given. However, the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t that Jesus died. The good news is that he resurrected on the 3rd day. It’s within the resurrection that we find the hope of forgiveness of sins. It’s within the resurrection that we find the hope of reconciliation to God – Why is it in the resurrection you ask me that we find the hope of reconciliation to the Father? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s because Christ ascended to the Father to prepare a place for us to go. He went to prepare our place of reconciliation. An eternal place of dwelling in which we are reconciled to God.
The resurrection is the source of our gladness. It’s the source of our joy. It’s the source of our hope. And its the source of the promise of the Holy Spirit for all who believe.
So again I ask, why do we so often place more of an emphasis on the death of Christ, then we do his resurrection?