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, though some have fallen asleep.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
When I’m confused or depressed; when I need assurance, comfort, or simply need direction, where do I start?
God’s Word says, “of first importance: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised again on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Why is that so important? It speaks directly to our greatest need and God’s gracious solution. The message of Jesus’ death and resurrection verifies God’s amazing love for sinners. That is always where you start. Yes, you are a sinner, but Jesus’ all-sufficient sacrifice confirms that God’s forgiving love is for you! Warmed by that truth, bring your cares and concerns to the Lord.
Notice that the apostle Paul twice writes, “according to the Scriptures.” The Bible tells of Jesus’ death and resurrection, it also makes you “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” With its truth and promises you are thoroughly equipped to deal with … whatever! Each of us benefits as we continue to read, learn, and remember the Bible’s blessed assurances. We are greatly helped through hearing sermons, attending Bible classes, and having home and private devotions.
Paul refers to the many eye-witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. Appreciate the encouragement from those who saw the risen Jesus with their own eyes! Likewise, talking with a mature fellow Christian who has life experiences to share, helps you review Bible truths as seen with the eyes of faith.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to keep, of first importance in my life, faith in the resurrection of your son Jesus. When troubles come into my life, remind me to always start there. Build my faith through your Word and fellow believers. Amen.
Holy Bible, book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came,
Mine to teach me what I am.
Mine to comfort in distress,
Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show by living faith,
Man can triumph over death.
John Burton (1803)