1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Christ actually died. So central to the Christian faith is this concept that if he did not actually die then sin was not truly dealt with. Not only did Christ actually die, but he was actually buried! Both his death and his burial happened in accordance with the Scriptures proving that God’s promises are true. His Word is true.
The importance of Christ dying is not usually disputed. Even non-Christian historians will agree that a man named Jesus died under the reign of Pontus Pilate. It is history that Christ actually died. What is disputed is whether or not he was actually buried and was actually raised from the dead. Paul clearly affirms that Jesus Christ indeed was buried and then was raised three days later according to the Scriptures. He was convinced that this had to be so. Why?
Paul will later say in the same passage of 1 Corinthians that if Christ had not been raised from the dead, well then our faith is futile and we are still dead in our sins since he would have had no power over the grave. Therefore, those who die have no hope of a future resurrection from the dead and they have perished. If we have hoped in Christ only in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied!
But, Christ was in fact buried, proving he actually died. Then, according to the Scriptures, he was raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man (Adam) came death, by a man (Jesus Christ) has come also the resurrection of the dead. Because all men who are from the line of Adam die, so also all those who are in Christ will be made alive.
The Christian’s hope has no room for failure. Either our hope is no hope if Christ had not been raised, or it is a certainty and Jesus defeated the power of sin on the cross and the power of the grave by his resurrection.
We are not a people most to be pitied. Rather, we are a people with a certain hope. A hope that will come to realization when Christ comes in power and glory for his saints. This hope is based on the Word of God, which teaches us that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised.