“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.” –1 Corinthians 15:1-3
Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Hebrews 4:14-5:10; 7:22-27; 9:11-14; 10:10
A professor in one of our large American universities once said that Jesus should be regarded as a genius, but not as a successful genius. The professor reasoned that Jesus was defeated in His death, that His teachings were rejected, His purposes frustrated.
But Paul does not regard the death of our Lord as defeat. He includes it in the good news, the Gospel, that he preaches. He even informs the Corinthians that he had determined not to know [preach] anything among them save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Paul regards the death of Christ as providing good news, for he knows that the holy and undefiled Saviour died for the sins of His people, as the Old Testament had foretold and as God had determined before the foundation of the world. Our Lord had come to give His life as a ransom for many. He who knew no sin became sin for His own. He freely in their place, as their substitute, paid the penalty required by the law; He covered their guilt; He satisfied the justice of God for them; and He has propitiated God and reconciled Him to His people.
The death of the Saviour did not mean defeat for Him, but it meant triumph—yes, it meant good news! Indeed, apart from it there could be no good news or no Gospel or no salvation for men.
Skilton, John H. Think on These Things: Bible Truths for Faith and Life. Philadelphia: Skilton House – Sowers, 1986.