...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures...
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul gives us what he considers among all the great truths of Scripture -- the one that is of "first" importance: Jesus died for our sins (not His own). It's one of the major differences between Christianity and every other religion of the world. I don't know of any other religious leader who claimed to be without sin. So giving of their life as atonement for the sins of others wouldn't be acceptable (provided they would even do so). Why? Because they were just as much a sinner as everyone else. Jesus is the only perfect, pure and sinless Son of God -- whose life was worthy of sacrifice in exchange for ours. It is one of the truly unique aspects of the Gospel.
Every detail of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection had been prophesied in Scripture. So Paul wasn't just reporting upon historical events, but shared how these events fulfilled Scripture. The concept that Christ would die for our sins is clearly seen throughout the Old Testament. For example:
Psalm 22 -- offers a picture of crucifixion hundreds of years before it was ever used.
Psalm 69 -- references the vinegar Jesus would be offered to drink upon the Cross.
Isaiah 50 -- foretold how Jesus would be mocked, His beard pulled out, face struck, and back beaten.
Isaiah 53 -- describes how Jesus was "pierced for our transgressions...crushed for our iniquities."
As a result, when Paul said, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures," he certainly had these passages in mind.
Questions to Ponder:Can you point to the Old Testament Scriptures that foretell the death of Jesus? They are valuable ones to know when speaking with unbelievers about the great truths of salvation. Which is your favorite? Isaiah 53:5-6 is mine.