The Importance of the Resurrection...
As First Response Chaplains, we interact daily with men and women who face death every time they go on duty. Many of them have no strong convictions when it comes to matters of faith and life after death. Many young first responders are not even active in any organized religion. Many believe that when death comes, it is simply the end. There is nothing more. So how do we proclaim the importance of the resurrection of Jesus to this generation of First Responders? In this day and age, does the resurrection matter? Does it truly make a difference?
You can't separate the resurrection of Jesus from the gospel of Christ
The Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15 that the gospel revolves around the death and resurrection of Christ (verses 1-5). The resurrection of Christ cannot be separated from the death of Christ when we present the gospel!
In Paul's case, the resurrection made a huge difference when it came to his preaching. If there were no resurrection, Paul says, "then our preaching is in vain". (15:14) If Christ had not risen, we have no good news to share!
Paul makes an incredible statement in 1 Corinthians 15. He says, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins." (15:17). The substitutionary death of Christ saves us...and so does His resurrection. (Romans 4:24-25). Our sins were paid for on the cross and our justification is a real consequence of Jesus' resurrection.
The resurrection brings hope
Because we believe that Christ has been raised from the dead, we can hold on to the future hope of knowing that death has no permanent victory. There is no lasting sting of death! 1 Corinthians 15:58 states that we can have confidence in knowing that sharing the gospel and laboring for His kingdom is not in vain. The resurrection of Jesus changes EVERYTHING! Without it, there is no gospel, no saving message, no salvation, and no future hope.
Midwest Chaplain Network