Usually, before the Christmas season is in full swing, one hears the phrase, “Remember the Reason for the Season,” or the variant, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Both statements are true.
It’s with those statements in mind that I hope everyone thinks of the reason for this season. We are one week away from Good Friday, and nine days short of the Resurrection Sunday. These holidays and celebrations are the capstone of our faith and what we believe.
It’s an exciting time. People think and ponder again, anew perhaps, what Jesus did on the cross and what His resurrection means. Those who do not believe often consider these truths at this time of year.
It’s also a time of year for Christians to ponder the truths which are so central to what we believe. Indeed, we must believe these truths, because they sum up all of what we believe.
1 Corinthians 15 speaks this way. In verse 14, it says that if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching (Paul and his companions) is in vain, and your faith is also in vain. In vain! In other words, for nothing.
There would be no Christianity without the death and resurrection of Jesus. It would not and could not exist. Indeed, if these events did not really happen, the Bible itself says our faith is in vain. It’s worthless.
Further, in verse 17, not only is the truth restated that our faith is worthless if Christ is not raised, it also says we are still in our sins. Still under the power of the old life. Not forgiven. Not set free.
A great debate in the seminary halls is, “What are the essentials of the Christian faith?” In other words, what is it okay to agree to disagree on, and what is actually essential to believe in order to be a Christian.
As this passage from 1 Corinthians says, on the short list of what we must believe to be a Christian is to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. To believe that He lives today. He died, for us, in our place, so that we would not remain dead in our sins.
And he lives today, as the promise of our new hope. 1 Corinthians 15:20 says Christ is the first fruits. The first fruits of the resurrection. Verse 23 says that, then after that, all of those who are His at His coming.
So, today, think again about these central truths of our faith. Prepare your hearts for worship. Get ready for the Easter season. See you this Sunday, next Friday and next Sunday!
Until next time, in Christ,