For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: (1Corinthians 15:3-4)
WE'RE REPEATING SOME OF THE THEMES this Easter season, but with some variation. It’s hard to let go of it; the three hours of darkness, the earthquake, the opening of select graves, and the ripping of the veil. Then the raising of many dead saints who appeared unto many, and the effect all of this had on the Roman centurion, the priesthood and the million people who had gathered in Jerusalem for Passover.
IT WOULD BE IMPRESSIVE IF THESE OUTSTANDING STORIES were all we had at Easter. But that’s not all there is to it. The central feature of Easter is the crucifixion and resurrection of the promised Christ from the dead. Not only so, but it also fulfilled Bible prophecy. It was: “according to the Scriptures.”
SOME SHORT BIBLE PHRASES ARE MOUNTAIN PEAKS of meaning and sturdy sentinels guarding the interpretation of other verses. This is one of them. These two verses are considered by many scholars and teachers as the best definition we have of the Gospel. Christ didn’t just die, He died according to the Old Testament Scriptures. He didn’t just rise again the third day from the grave; He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
HE WAS BURIED AND THAT PROVED THAT HE WAS DEAD. Like Lazarus, He was wrapped in grave clothes and coated with some seventy pounds of spices. When He rose from the dead, His layers of grave clothes were left behind as though He were still inside them.
PAUL'S MAIN MESSAGE WAS THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. “First of all,” he said. It wasn’t down in the bag somewhere. It was “first of all.” It wasn’t something he made up. He received it from the Lord. We must major on first things. Nothing is as important in the Christian ministry as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ from the grave, according to the Scriptures.
THE BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY gives a good summary statement: “Paul included himself in the company of all believers when he spoke of receiving the truth of Christ’s death and His resurrection on behalf of sinful people. These verses, the heart of the gospel, were an early Christian confession which Paul described as of first importance. It was really a twofold confession: Christ died for our sins and He was raised. The reality of this was verified by the Scriptures:
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (in the grave); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:8-10)
IT WAS VERIFIED BY HISTORICAL EVIDENCE and verified by time in the grave and out of it, in the presence of the living. The fact that He was buried verified His death, and the fact that He appeared to others verified His resurrection. Peter, the first male witness, was soon joined by the remaining disciples who composed the Lord’s immediate circle.” (BKC)
“According to the Scriptures” means that these Scriptures were written as prophecies and then were fulfilled at some future time. Bible prophecy is one of the great proofs that the Bible is the Word of God. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)
THE HIGHER CRITICISM OF LIBERAL SCHOLARS SINCE THE 17TH CENTURY (1600'S) employs a bias against the Bible being able to predict the future. This bias, handicaps their ability to interpret the Bible as a supernatural book.
SOMEONE WROTE: “The New Testament is in the Old contained; and Old Testament is in the New Testament explained. It is surprising how much of the Old Testament is prophesy. We learn this by reading the New Testament, which repeatedly tells us “that it might be fulfilled.” One writer said that there are about 300 prophecies concerning the Coming Christ in the Old Testament. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 29, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. Joshua 23-24 P.M. Luke 6:27-49
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Memory Verse This Month:
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
Song for Today:
The New Jerusalem (5:06) – (Jacob Francis) (C.M.C. Southern Pines, NC)
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