Written by Franklin Graham
There is nothing more fundamental to the Christian faith than the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul said: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
So great is our sin that the greatest act in all of history—the brutal crucifixion of our Savior, and the glorious power of His resurrection that proclaimed Christ’s triumph over sin and death—was necessary to save us from its penalty of eternal death.
Every New Testament apostle witnessed the risen Christ, along with more than 500 contemporaries.
When Peter stood in Jerusalem immediately following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, he preached the cross of Christ and thousands were converted. Soon after, while preaching at Solomon’s Colonnade, Peter was arrested by the temple guard and hauled off to jail because the apostles were “teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 4:2)
When warned not to speak again in the Name of Jesus, Peter and John replied, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) There was absolutely no way the disciples of the Messiah would ever stop talking about the most marvelous, supernatural event in history.
When officials sought to obstruct their obedience to Christ, the apostles made it clear that they would always obey Christ rather than man. Their allegiance and loyalty to the risen Savior superseded the laws of men who sought to restrict the clear command of the Lord to go and preach the Gospel to all nations.
So it is today.
While believers in Christ are commanded to pray for all those in authority, and to honor the Lord by obeying the laws of the land, the Scriptures also make it clear that the exception is when those laws violate the principles of God’s Word. We are citizens of two kingdoms, the civil kingdom of this world as well as the heavenly kingdom. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20) As citizens of that heavenly kingdom, our allegiance lies with the kingship of the Risen Christ, to whom belongs all rule and authority and might and dominion.Read More...