Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. That’s the gospel. But what would happen if there was no resurrection? A man wrote a pastor and said, “Our pastor says that Jesus did not rise from the dead, but He just fainted and was revived by His disciples. What do you think?”

The pastor replied, “Beat your pastor with a leather whip, put a crown of thorns on his head, force him to carry a heavy cross, nail his hands and feet to the cross, let him hang there for six hours, and then pierce him in the side with a spear. After that, tightly wrap his body in embalming clothes. Leave him in a sealed tomb for three days — and see if he revives.”

Without Christ’s death, there would be no Resurrection. His substitutionary death secured our redemption from the penalty of sin. It also obtained unconditional forgiveness for all of our sins. Through death, Jesus condemned our enemy, the devil, to eternal judgment and set us free from the bondage of sin. We can also enjoy reconciliation with God through Christ’s sacrificial payment.

The Resurrection of Jesus is vital to our existence as Christians. It is a precursor to the future resurrection of our physical bodies. It gives us a hope stronger than death itself. As a result of the Resurrection, Jesus has been given a name above every name, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Also, our resurrected Savior presently intercedes on our behalf.

Without a risen Savior, believers have no hope for the future. Without Christ’s death, they have no hope for the present. It is easy for us to get so caught up in the rigmarole of life that the luster of these grave realities quickly fades. May the comfort they bring us in the present and the hope they provide for the future cause us to keep them at the forefront of our minds each day.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.