By Harry Ironside
He had to die, to go down into the dark waters of death, that you might be saved. Can you think of any ingratitude more base than that of a man or woman who passes by the life offered by the Savior who died on the Cross for them? Jesus died for you, and can it be that you have never even trusted Him, never even come to Him and told Him you were a poor, lost, ruined, guilty sinner; but since He died for you, you would take Him as your Savior? HIS DEATH WAS REAL.
He was buried three days in the tomb. He died, He was buried, and that was God’s witness that it was not a merely pretended death, but He, the Lord of Life, had to go down into death. He was held by the bars of death for those three days and nights until God’s appointed time had come.
Then, “Death could not keep its prey, He tore the bars away.” He was raised again the third day according to the Scriptures. That is the Gospel, and nothing can be added to that. Some people say, “Well, but must I repent?” Yes, you may well repent, but that is not the Gospel. “Must I not be baptized?” If you are a Christian, you ought to be baptized, but baptism is not the Gospel. Paul said, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17).
He did baptize people, but he did not consider that was the Gospel, and the Gospel was the great message that he was sent to carry to the world. This is all there is to it.
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures . . . he was buried, and . . . he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
(photo by bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)