Reflections: Thursday of the 11th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-10

Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 18:1-19; Ephesians 1:1-23 

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 third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Paul makes it very simple. There is one message, one Gospel, that saves: Christ died for your sins in accordance with everything God has ever said in the Bible. Christ was buried. Christ was resurrected on the Third Day, again in accordance with everything God has ever said in the Bible. Believe this, hold fast to this, cling to this for dear life, for it is life, eternal life, life that knows no end. 

Change the message and you don’t have the Gospel. Make the message about you and your life, not the death and resurrection of Jesus, and you don’t have the Gospel. Ignore the Old Testament and you lose the richness of the Gospel that looked forward to and predicted that Jesus would have to die to forgive your sins and be raised to life again to grant you eternal life. Skip Good Friday and the death of Jesus, and there’s no reason for an Easter Sunday. Leave Jesus dead on the Cross and you’ve got no hope in this life and certainly not in the age to come. 

This is of first importance, the most important of the importants: Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and three days later arose to life that will not end. Nothing else changes your life now and your life to come in eternity. This earliest version of our creeds, and their source, is why we confess the creeds every day and especially on Sundays. When something is important you want to remember it all the time. So confess the creed every day. It will guard and protect you from ever forgetting what is the most important thing in life: the Good News, the Gospel in which you stand, by which you are being saved. Christ died for your sins in accordance with the Scriptures, He was buried, and was raised to life on the Third Day in accordance with the Scriptures. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

If Christ had not been raised from death Our faith would be in vain, Our preaching but a waste of breath, Our sin and guilt remain. But now the Lord is ris’n indeed; He rules in earth and heav’n: His Gospel meets a world of need—In Christ we are forgiv’n. (“If Christ Had Not Been Raised from Death” LSB 486, st.1)

-Rev. Daniel Voth, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.