There you have it. Like the three legs of a stool, Paul presents the three legs of the Gospel:
1. Christ crucified
2. Christ buried
3. Christ risen
Notice, it all happened, “according to the Scriptures.” The Gospel which originated in the heart and mind of God was not a divine after-thought. God didn’t call a time-out to come up with a last-minute game plan change after Adam and Eve fumbled in the Garden.
In His foreknowledge God knew in advance what would happen. Isn’t He amazing?! So God made provision prior to the creation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Then He started talking about it, “through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:2-3). The events of the Gospel were all predicted and promised beforehand by Old Testament prophets, and they all happened precisely according to plan.
Thomas Jefferson, a somewhat religious man, could never accept the miraculous elements in Scripture. So he edited his own special version of the Bible in which most references to the supernatural were deleted. The closing words of Jefferson’s Bible are these, “Now, in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”
Thank God that isn’t the way the story really ends! The Gospel doesn't end with the words, “Christ died and was buried.” It ends with this great declaration, “He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. And that is the Gospel truth!
Pastor Todd Weston