Most presentations of the gospel focus on the cross. People definitely need to understand their lostness and how Jesus paid the price for their sins. There are plenty of illustrations we use for the substitutionary atonement. We can wax eloquent about the agony, suffering and sacrifice but many times a presentation of the gospel leaves out the resurrection. The gospel must include both the death AND resurrection. The resurrection is not just a story for Easter. It is an integral part of the gospel. The good news is that Jesus did not remain in the grave.
Paul made it very clear that the entire gospel must include the resurrection.
- I Corinthians 15: 1-4 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…. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
The message that drove the apostles forward was the resurrection. There was a theological necessity for the death of Christ, but it was His resurrection that made them unstoppable:
- I Corinthians 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
- Acts 4:20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.
The resurrection gives us hope and promise of our own resurrection to eternal life.
- Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- I Cor 15:17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
- Rom 4: 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
So when you present the gospel, don’t forget the good news.
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