Slideshow image

It is clear up to this point that our situation is entirely and utterly hopeless.  We all stand condemned, unless there is some way to cancel our sin debt to God.  Clearly this way must be outside of ourselves since God tells us that we have nothing to offer him that he will accept.  This brings us to the central focus of Christianity and the central theme of the Bible, namely, Jesus Christ. 

The only way to escape condemnation and become acceptable to God would be for someone to pay the penalty for us.  This could not possibly be done by a man since the man himself would be a sinner and as such could only pay the penalty for his own sins.  That means he would die for his own sins and remain eternally separated from God, doing the rest of us no good whatsoever.  However, what if God so loved us that he himself would be willing to pay the penalty for us, clear our debt, and bring us into a right relationship with him.  That is exactly what the Bible teaches:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.  John 3:16-18

The Bible declares Jesus to be God and Jesus himself claimed to be God.  The Scripture says:

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:1,14

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.  Colossians 2:9

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  Hebrews 1:3

(Jesus said) "I and the Father are one."  Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father.  For which of these do you stone me?"  "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."  John 10:30-33

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, lived a sinless, righteous life and freely laid down his own life, suffering crucifixion on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sins and to reconcile us to himself.  This is the greatest possible expression of God's love for us; he took on the form of a man and sacrificed himself so that we may share eternity with him.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  1 John 4:10

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  1 Peter 3:18

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.  Hebrews 9:27-28

Not only did Jesus Christ die on the cross to pay in full the penalty that we should bear, but he also rose from the dead to demonstrate his power over the grave and to demonstrate to us that he is who he says he is.

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all.  Romans 6:9-10  


(God) has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus ... who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  2 Timothy 1:9-10 Regarding his Son ... who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 1:3-4

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is absolutely central to the message of salvation and without it the entire Christian faith crumbles.  The apostle Paul makes this very clear:

If there is no resurrection from the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.  1 Corinthians 15:13-15,17,19-20.

The resurrection of Christ was well attested to by many eyewitnesses.  Paul mentions a few of these eyewitnesses in his letter to the Christians who were living in Corinth, Greece, in order to strengthen the foundation of their faith:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also.  1 Corinthians 15:3-8

In the book of Acts, we are told that Jesus appeared on the earth for forty days after he came out of the tomb:

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  Acts 1:3