But now is Christ risen from the dead. — 1 Cor 15:20
The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that “Christ is risen from the dead;” for, “if Christ is not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain—you are yet in your sins.” The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in His resurrection, since He was “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” It would not be unreasonable to doubt His Deity—if He had not risen.
Moreover, Christ’s sovereignty depends upon His resurrection, “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
Again, our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ’s triumphant victory over death and the grave; for “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Nay, more, our very regeneration is connected with His resurrection, for we are “Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, “If the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you—He who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” If Christ is not risen—then shall we not rise; but if He be risen—then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished but in their flesh shall surely behold their God.
Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believer’s blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory and binds them together. How important then will this glorious fact be in his estimation, and how will he rejoice that beyond a doubt it is established, that “now is Christ risen from the dead!”
“The promise is fulfilled, Redemption’s work is done, Justice with mercy’s reconciled, For God has raised His Son!”
The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14
Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, “He is divine to me, if He is only human to all the world beside. He has done that for me—which none but a God could do! He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron! He has turned my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He has led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think as they will of Him, to me He must be the only begotten of the Father—blessed be His name.
And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been—I would never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said, ‘Your sins which are many—are all forgiven you—be of good cheer.’
And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never any servant had such a master as I have; never any brother had such a kinsman as He has been to me; never any spouse had such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never any sinner had a better Savior; never any mourner had a better comforter than Christ has been to my heart. I desire none beside Him. In life—He is my life; and in death—He shall be the death of death. In poverty—Christ is my riches. In sickness—He makes my bed. In darkness—He is my star. In brightness—He is my sun. He is my manna in this wilderness. He shall be heavenly manna when I come to the heavenly Canaan. Jesus is to me—all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood. And of truth and grace He is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all your might ‘the only Begotten.’