“The third day he rose again from the dead”
In this article of the creed, we confess the bodily resurrection of Christ and the bold confidence we obtain by it: That our Saviour has conquered sin, put death to flight, and given us the hope of everlasting life. Without this confidence, we would be of all men most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19).
Sadly, fallen men seem to love wallowing about in their misery. The Jews bribed the soldiers who guarded Christ’s tomb to lie and say his body was stolen (Matt. 28:12-15). Muslims say that Jesus did not actually die or, if he did, that his body was secretly switched. Liberals say that it does not ultimately matter so long as he is “risen” in your heart.
Biblical prophecy foreshadowed the resurrection (Hosea 6:1-2), Jesus plainly predicted it (Matt. 17-22-23), and, once raised, he then appeared to his disciples and even to five hundred brethren at once (1 Cor. 15:3-6).
The Christian stands on the firmest ground possible in confessing Christ’s bodily resurrection. In doing so, he also finds sure hope that our mortal bodies shall also be raised on the last day. Confess this truth by faith and you will be able to smile, even in the face of death, saying, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55)