Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.– 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
The first pages of the Bible tell us that God is the living God who gives life to the world; that he breathes life into Adam so that we humans are ‘living beings’ (Genesis 2:7); In Acts 17 when Paul speaks about our relationship to God as humans he says ‘in him we live and breathe and have our being.’
Replaced by sin
Death came into the world when we turned our backs on the living God and pursued ‘dead’ idols in his place. People disconnected from God are dying. The story of the Bible is the story of how to become living again, not just now, in this world, but for eternity as new creations in a new creation. This is the story of Jesus – this is our story – Jesus died on the cross for our sins, dying our death and rising from death to give us his life.
Christ died for our sins
When after Jesus’ resurrection, the women who came to visit his grave were asked ‘why are you looking for the living among the dead’ (Luke 24) they’re not just being asked about the graveyard they’re visiting, but about the state of the world — when we put our trust in the resurrected Jesus, and receive his Spirit we become ‘the living’ in a world that is dying to know Jesus; the living amongst the dead.