Good thoughts from author Neil T. Anderson:
The gospel we most hear sounds like this: “Jesus is the Messiah who came to die for our sins, and if we will put our trust in Him, we will be forgiven of our sins, and when we die, we will go to heaven.” What is wrong with that?
At best it is only a third of the gospel; and it gives the impression that eternal life is something we get when we physically die! If you were going to save a dead man, what would you do? Give him life? If that is all you did, he would only die again. To save a dead person, you would have to do 2 things. First, you would have to cure the disease that caused him to die. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23). So Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins. Is that the whole gospel? Absolutely not! Thank God for Good Friday, but it was Christ’s resurrection that gave us life. We need to finish the previous verse: “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23b). Eternal life is not something we get when we die. In fact, if you don’t have eternal (spiritual) life before you physically die, you will have nothing but hell to look forward to. John says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life” (1 Jn. 5:12).
Sin has separated us from God, so we use the cross as a bridge diagram to present the gospel. But when we cross the bridge, are we the same person as we were before? We will likely perceive ourselves to be nothing more than forgiven sinners instead of redeemed saints if we leave the resurrection out of our gospel presentations. What Adam and Eve lost in the fall was life (i.e. spiritual life) and Jesus said, “I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Praise God for the resurrection!