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 Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
Of the 613 commandments in the Law, Jesus identified two of them as the greatest. Love God with all you are, and love your neighbor as yourself. But what about the doctrines, or teachings, of the church? Which of them is the most important?
Paul answers that question here, quoting from what appears to be a creedal statement of the early church. And it identifies two core beliefs at the heart of our faith. Christ died for our sins and was buried. And he was raised from the dead on the third day and appeared to his disciples. And both of these were in accordance with the Scripture.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we often find ourselves disagreeing with each other about what the Bible teaches. But one thing we should never disagree over is that Jesus died for our sins and that he rose from the dead. Without his sacrifice on the cross, we are still in sin and facing God’s judgment. And without his resurrection, we have no hope beyond the few years of this life.
This is the heart of the gospel message. That Christ died to redeem us from slavery to sin. And that he rose to defeat death and make possible a new life in him. A redemption and new life that are given to all who believe and follow Jesus as Lord.
If this does not include you, I urge you to surrender your life to the one whose love is beyond full comprehension. And to experience the new life he offers, both now and into eternity.