The foundation of our faith is not the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For His death by itself gains us nothing. By itself, Our Lord’s death is nothing more than the death of another innocent man for a righteous cause. By itself, Our Lord’s death is simply the death of another hero. And, by itself, Our Lord’s death produces in us nothing but fear and trembling.
The power in Our Lord’s death is not that He died. The power is that He rose from the dead. The strength of Our Lord’s death is not that He entered the grave. The strength is that He burst open the gates of the grave. The impressiveness of Our Lord’s death is not that He confronted Satan, but that He robbed Satan of His deadly power. And so it is His resurrection from the dead which gives force and might, and significance and meaning to His death. Our Lord’s resurrection elevates His death above the death of all men. And so, not His crucifixion, but His resurrection is the foundation of our faith.
So while we celebrate the sacrifice and death of Our Lord, we do so only because of His resurrection. For without rising from the dead, Our Lord’s death is just another death. But because of His resurrection, His death has meaning.