1 Corinthians 15:3-4 –“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
Easter has come and gone, spring has sprung, and now we head into the busyness of spring and summer. Its time for outdoor activities and sports, for yard mowing, and other assorted lawn chores. It’s time for picnics and cookouts, and maybe even a run or two in the park. It is a wonderful and busy time of year.
Sometimes when life gets busy, it is easy to forget things. Not too long ago I went out to get the mower ready for the season and to mow the grass and I forget where the key was from last year. The problem was easily fixed however as I went to one of the big box home and garden stores and just brought a universal key. One of my friends asked me, “did you get two?” I said, “No”. Their reply was “you should have.” And I imagine they were right. It is easy to forget things, even important things when life gets busy.
Paul however does not want the Christians at Corinth to forget the Easter event. He does not want them to forget the cross or the empty tomb. He wants them to continually remember the sacrifice that Jesus paid for us and also the good news that death could not hold Him. Paul keeps those facts before his reader in all of his letters, but in 1 Corinthians he says, “I delievered to you of first importance.” In other words he is saying I want you to know what is supremely important and that is the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Don’t ever forget that, keep it always before you. It is the Gospel and as one person put it, “preach the Gospel to yourself everyday.”
Remind yourself continually of the Gospel. It is the power of God to salvation. Without the cross and without the empty tomb, we are still in our sins, we are still under the wrath of God, we are unforgiven, and we have to go through this world alone. If Jesus is not crucified we cannot be forgiven and if He is not raised, we have no one to go all the way through this world with us, for only He has promised to “never leave us or forsake us.” Without the Gospel we are hopeless and we are alone in our hopelessness, because a dead God can’t be there with us, or listen to us when we pray, or give us forgiveness, or strength, or wisdom, or love. Without the cross and resurrection, life is meaningless. But as Paul would say, “thanks be to God”, we do have the resurrection. Jesus really is alive. He really is listening to us as we pray, and He really is praying for us. He really does walk through life with us, and He really does give us His wisdom and His strength (read 1 Corinthians 1, and remember as you read it that if Jesus were still dead none of those things are possible).
No wonder Paul says “I give you these things and they are of first importance.” This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that He died on a cross for our sins, that He was buried and that 3 days later, He rose again, and He is alive. This is the Gospel and it is of first importance. Don’t ever forget it. Keep it continually before you. You can forget a lot of things and life not really be any different, but if you forget the Gospel, life becomes almost hopeless. So don’t forget it. But in reality if you’ve been touched by it, how could you ever forget the wonderous love and power of God.