Now is Christ risen from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is the key–stone of the arch of gospel truth. Paul makes it very plain that if the resurrection did not take place, there is no salvation. “If Christ has not been raised, then is our preaching vain, …your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” All the hopes of Christian faith waited those three days at the sealed grave of Jesus. “But now has Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep.” Then because He has been raised, your faith is not vain, and all your hopes are sure and eternal; you are not in your sins, the redemption was accepted; then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have not perished, but are alive forevermore. Christ rose as the firstfruits of the great harvest, and all who sleep in Him shall come too at the end of the day. The firstfruit was a pledge that it would be gathered in and a sample of what the final harvest would be.