The resurrection of Christ, therefore, is not merely a remote historical fact, like the Revolutionary War or fall of Rome. Rather, the resurrection of Christ is the ground upon which we hope that Christ’s work on our behalf has succeeded and been ratified by God himself. Christ claimed to be our sin bearer. By raising him from the dead, God vindicated Christ, proving him before all the world to be precisely who and what he had claimed to be.
Discussing in a sermon the “fruits and benefits” of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, Martin Luther once pointed to Paul’s statement in Romans 4:25: “Christ was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.” The doctrine of justification by faith was central to the theology of Martin Luther, and indeed not only to Luther, but to all of the Reformers. This passage was precious to Luther because it explained how our justification before God could not have been accomplished apart from Christ being raised from the dead.
Christ - Life - Sins - Fulfillment - Luther
Christ coming back to life, resulting in our being forgiven of all our sins, was a fulfillment, Luther said, of what John the Baptist had foretold about him: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29). It was necessary for Christ to die an atoning death for our sins; otherwise, we could never hope to be forgiven. However, the gospel is not merely the news that Christ died, but also that he rose again. This is the constant theme of Peter’s and the other apostles’ preaching in the book of Acts. Because of Christ’s resurrection, we can be justified before God. As Luther said, “For all those who believe in him, ****, death, and the devil and sin have been destroyed.”
Luther stressed the importance of making the Easter...
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