“Holy Week” or “Passion Week” refers to the events in the life of Jesus a week before he is resurrected from the dead. Here are my reflections on each day as we remember the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I won’t be going into a historical or a Biblical study of each day as there are many resources you can find regarding this day. These are merely my personal reflections. A great place to start learning more about Easter Sunday can be found here: Justin Taylor, Holy Week, Day 8: Sunday
(After his resurrection) he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.Mark 16:14-16
Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This sentence alone should stir up in us inexpressible excitement, hope, joy and worship. However, just as the world and many Christians have forgotten the meaning of Christmas, they have diluted today’s celebration and forgotten the unbelievable weight of what God had accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Maybe some Christians never fully realized how crucial it is to faith because there are some who teach and believe heresies such as believing that there is no hell, that everyone no matter if you put your faith in Jesus or not will go to heaven, and that Jesus only spiritual resurrected from the dead.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 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 Scriptures1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Without going into an extensive exposition on the topic, I would like to affirm the gospel which is the message of salvation that comes by the redeeming sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his the victory over sin and death in the resurrection for all who put their faith in Jesus and repent of their sins and believe.
Greg Gilbert in his book, “What is the Gospel?” shares with us that although the gospel is central to our faith, many of us have difficulty not only explaining what the gospel is but even in articulating it. And he goes on to affirm the centrality of Jesus’ death on the cross in the place of sinners.
“Indeed I believe one of the greatest dangers the body of Christ faces today is the temptation to rethink and rearticulate the gospel in a way that makes its center something other than the death of Jesus on the cross in the place of sinners.”Greg Gilbert, What is the Gospel?
Why was the death of Jesus necessary for our salvation?
I understand this can be a loaded question for some. But if we conclude that his death on the cross and resurrection had no effect on our salvation and that God had planned from the very beginning to bring everyone to heaven anyway, what purpose does Christ’s suffering have and why is Christ’s resurrection a focal point in the New Testament.
More importantly, why would it be a specific point of worship for all eternity as seen in Revelation 5:11-12 where it says “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’”
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.1 Corinthians 15:16-19
We cannot say enough about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reason why there is hope in the words of the Old and New Testaments and the reason why the promises of God are applicable to us who believe is because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Take time today to reflect on your faith, to understand the implications of Christ’s death and resurrection for our salvation and for the sake of the lost, learn to articulate and explain this gospel. Let us renew our effort to do this especially as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ today.
I highly recommend for you to read Greg Gilbert’s book, “What is the Gospel?” if you would like to learn more about the gospel!
What is the Gospel?
By Greg Gilbert