A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Message summary: Trifecta is defined as "a run of three wins or grand events". Today let us examine a text in 1 Corinthians that teaches Christ's glorious trifecta, His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
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"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
Yesterday we were at Mount Zion, not in Israel but the Mount Zion Fire Hall on Mount Zion Road in Lebanon County where we donated blood. It sits up on a beautiful ridge overlooking Lebanon Valley farmland with the Blue Mountain where the Appalachian Trail runs in the distance. An old chorus based on Psalm 48 comes to mind.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth,
is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north,
the city of the great King.
Brooksyne and I donated blood at the same time with her on a cot across from me. I laid comfortably on my cot, extended my left arm to receive the typical "pinch" (as the phlebotomist describes the needle puncture), to allow for a pint of whole blood to be collected.
During the process I considered Christ who gave His blood for us on Mount Zion. I endured what I would describe as a sharp pain when they inserted the needle but we were soon up and about our regular duties of the day. I got an email thanking me for my donation in response to two traumas in Central Pennsylvania that required over 75 Type O+ blood units in one day leaving a low supply of O Positive blood. So I felt in a very small but important way that I might have helped save a person's life.
But in Christ's blood donation He "endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2) and "the agony of death" (Acts 2:24) to save the souls of all who choose to believe in Him. While Brooksyne and I are hopeful that our blood donation helps people in need of blood due to trauma or illness Christ gave His blood for all of us to save us from the eternal trauma and damnation of sin. (If you are reading this be assured that you are included in the "all"!)
Today's text is "Christ's Glorious Trifecta". A trifecta is defined as "a run of three wins or grand events".*
This is the only verse in the Bible where the phrase "as of first importance" is found. In these verses the apostle Paul provides a wonderful summation of the Gospel. What he himself had "received" he "delivered to you". He received it when he had his dramatic encounter on the way to Damascus at his conversion. He passed this on to the Corinthian believers (the initial "you" in the letter) and now through sacred Scripture to all of us. This has been the God-ordained manner for the transmission of truth for nearly 2,000 years.
1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
2. He was buried
3. He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
The apostle emphasizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These three together comprise the truth that is of "first importance". But there is one phrase that deeply touches me and I pray it will do so for you as well. Paul makes it very personal. "Christ died for our sins". Yes, we believe that. Praise God! His death was not meaningless or an accidental slip-up in the plan of redemption. No, Jesus Christ was born to die for our sins.
Earnest believers continue to receive and pass on this sacred message in our present day. Have you received and believed this message? Are you passing it on? At the heart of apostolic preaching is the proclamation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This glorious trifecta is of first importance all through the church age and indeed through eternity. This is based on the authority of Scripture, "according to the Scriptures".
Whatever you're facing today, hold on to this glorious truth that is of first importance; Christ died, Christ was buried, and Christ Jesus was raised to life forevermore! The risen Christ states in Revelation 1:18, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
Rising up so vast and strong,
Lifting up salvation’s song
The redeemed will sing forever,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, it is of first importance to the Apostle Paul to declare that Jesus is risen from the dead and is alive forevermore. So it is also of first importance some 2000 years later for those of us who hold dear the sacred Scriptures. We joyfully declare to our own generation the miraculous news that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Jesus is the living One; He was dead but is alive forevermore! This factual knowledge and spiritual blessing helps to still my doubts and fears reminding me that I serve a living, risen Christ who says to His followers, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever.” Because Jesus lives we live also! Blessed be the name of the Lord forevermore! Jesus saves! Amen.
All this week our messages will be on the resurrection of Jesus Christ as taught in each of the major sections of the New Testament.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Jesus Saves" Video Travis Cottrell
* Trifecta is a recent addition to the English language. It first appeared in the early 1970s as a term for a horse-racing bet in which the first, second, and third place finishers are chosen in the correct order.
The word has since broadened in meaning: it can now also refer to a group of three (usually desirable) things (such as “the trifecta of curing cancer, ending hunger, and putting an end to war"). MERRIAM-WEBSTER
Of course this is the sense I use in this message!
Mark, a hospice chaplain friend of ours, shared an experience he had yesterday! Commenting on our message, "Death could not hold Him", he was locked inside a cemetery yesterday for about 10 minutes! He had to call the manager to be let out!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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