Christians rightly focus on the historical fact of the life, death, and resurrection as the foundation of their faith. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:14 – “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” For Christianity to matter, these things must have actually happened. Therefore, a lot has been written providing evidence that these events happened, and that Christian faith is not based on speculation, but on solid history.
Today I’m going to take a different angle on the significance of the “historical” part of “historical fact.” This post is about the more straight-forward meaning that these events happened in the past.
Why This Matters
Because Christ lived in the past, the life of righteousness He lived for us, and that we inherit through faith, is unchangeable. There is no other life that could be lived, or will be lived, that could be better or achieve more than what God intended it to achieve. Perfection is assured because it already happened. He has not fallen short.
Because Christ died on the cross in the past, He did it in consideration of every past, present, and future sin of His people. Nothing you, or I, or any of His people have done, are doing now, or will do in the future, can undo the cross, because it has already happened. He will not change His mind, and He will stand by those who have faith in Him.
Because Christ was resurrected in the past, He has proven that death cannot hold Him and that He will raise His people to new life as well. He is alive now, and aware of everything happening not only in the global 24/7 news cycle, but also in the hearts and minds of every man. The same power that raised Him works in His people, telling them through His Spirit that there is no better plan than the cross to create a world where man perfectly loves God and loves his fellow man.
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:5-11
In a world full of pain and despair, “Preach the gospel at all times. And if necessary, use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi