Evening Reading for November 21

John 20:1-10
Suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-28

Concerning the importance of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, it would be hard to speak too strongly. It is a cardinal article of the Christian faith, second to none in value. It is the grand proof that he was the promised Messiah whom the prophets had foretold. It is the one great sign which he named to the Jews when asked to give convincing evidence of his divine mission — the sign of the prophet Jonas, the rebuilding of the temple after destruction (Matt. 12:39; John 2:19-21). If he did not rise again after three days they were not to believe him. It is the completion of the work of redemption which he came into the world to accomplish. It proved that the ransom was accepted and the victory over sin and death obtained. Christ `was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification' (Rom. 4:25). `We are begotten again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead' (1 Peter 1:3). If he had not risen again, our hope would have been a huge uncertainty. It is a fact which has the closest connection with the spiritual life and position before God of all believers. They are counted by God as `risen with Christ' and they should regard themselves as partakers of Christ's resurrection life and sitting in heavenly places. Not least, it is the pledge and assurance of our own resurrection at the last day. We need not fear death and look at the grave with despair, when we remember that Jesus Christ rose again in the body. As surely as the Head rose, so shall the members be raised. Let these points never be forgotten. When we think of them we may understand why the apostles, in their preaching and epistles, dwell so much upon the resurrection. Well would it be if modern Christians thought more about it. Myriads seem unable to look at anything in the gospel except the sacrifice and death of Christ and altogether pass over his resurrection.

For meditation: The resurrection is God's great statement that he is satisfied with the penalty our Lord paid for our sin.


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