1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV)
3 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.
July fourth is Independence Day, and all across U.S.A. people will celebrate the tremendous freedom we enjoy. Truly we are blessed! We who know Jesus Christ as our Savior have another kind of freedom to celebrate. We are free from the bondage of our sin and death.
I Corinthians 15:1-4 gives a concise picture of the freedoms we have in Christ. First, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” He died for one reason: to pay the penalty necessary for our sins. He took our place. Because of His death, we are made free from the death penalty of sin and stand righteous before God. This is our justification.
Second, “that He was buried.” Romans 6 tells us that through faith we died with Him and were buried with Him and are now dead to the power of sin over us. Sin no longer has dominion over us, so we can choose to live righteous, holy lives. We are free from sin’s control over us! This is our sanctification.
Third, “that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” His death alone could not save us; it was the resurrection that showed God’s acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice, and that gives power unto salvation. In Colossians 3:1 we read that we are risen with Christ. His resurrection guarantees a future in Heaven for us where we will be free from the presence of sin. This is our glorification.
From that past moment when I truly believed, I am free from the penalty of sin . . . Free from the present power of sin over me . . . And guaranteed to one day be free from the presence of sin. Now that’s cause for celebration—every day!
Dear Lord, let us never forget the great gift of freedom that You have given to us as Your followers. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.