I’m continuing to share quotes or excerpts from The Cross of Christ by John Stott. Can we overemphasize the cross? I think not. But I think we can neglect the resurrection.
If we are looking for a definition of love, we should look not in a dictionary, but at Calvary.
We are not to regard the cross as defeat and the resurrection as victory. Rather, the cross was the victory won, and the resurrection the victory endorsed, proclaimed, and demonstrated. ‘It was impossible for death to keep its hold on him’, because death had already been defeated….
Does this book’s whole emphasis lie too heavily on the cross, and insufficiently on the resurrection?….Nowhere in the New Testament is it written that ‘Christ rose for our sins.’ But was it not by his resurrection that Christ conquered death? No, it was by his death that he destroyed him who holds the power of death (Hebrews 2:14)….
To sum up, the gospel includes both the death and resurrection of Jesus, since nothing would have been accomplished by his death if he had not been raised from it. Yet the gospel emphasizes the cross, since it was there that the victory was accomplished. The resurrection did not achieve our deliverance from death and sin, but has brought us an assurance of both. It is because of the resurrection that ‘our faith and hope are in God’ (1 Peter 1:3, 21).
[Note that Stott spent several pages on this issue, and I’m only sharing key or summary statements.]