Jesus Lived, Died, and Rose from the Grave
Open Your Bible
Matthew 15:29-31, Luke 18:31-33, John 19:28-30, Mark 16:1-7, Romans 5:6-11, Philippians 2:5-11, John 3:16-17
This is the big show. This is the central truth of our faith. We can quibble over infant baptism and transubstantiation and ordination, but all Christians must come together and agree on these points. God came to earth in the form of a man, and this God-man lived, died, and was raised from the grave. They called Him Jesus. While we were helpless and lost in our sin, Jesus died to save us completely (Romans 5:6).
It is the truest and most real fairy-tale story ever known. The Church is the princess trapped by the pretending ruler of this world: a dragon who seeks to hoard all he can. The hero slays the dragon once and for all through a mighty and earth-shaking sacrifice. The dragon vanquished, and the hero rescues the princess and brings her to his beautiful home. And they lived happily ever after.
Notice who’s who in this story. We are the church and the princess: the bride of Christ. What does the princess have to do to make the story come off properly? The answer is…nothing.
We’d like to think we get to play a champion’s role in the story, but no matter how politically incorrect it may be, we, the bride, are helpless. We didn’t slay the dragon. We awaited the coming of the hero to save us.
As unflattering as it is, we are helpless apart from Christ. If that weren’t enough to make us uncomfortable, Paul reminds us we were also ungodly enemies of God, undeserving of rescue (v.10). The Church is the beggar bride, who has gotten overly comfortable living with the dragon. It is Christ who makes us holy, Christ who makes us lovely, Christ who washes us clean and removes the dragonish stench from our garments, preparing us for His kingdom.
In His life, He emptied Himself of glory, walking in perfect righteousness and enduring every earthly sorrow. By His death, He fully satisfied God’s just wrath against us, washing away our every sin.
By His resurrection, He defeated death and hell and secured newness of life for those who believe.
By His ascension, He advocates for us before the throne of grace, guaranteeing our eternal inheritance.
The great story of the gospel is the story of Jesus Christ. His life and death, His resurrection and ascension—this is the gospel. He is the gospel. Thanks be to God.