1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. (NKJV)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event and fact of all of human creation and history. It has neither equal nor competitor in scope or consequence.
Most people would take that as strictly religious comment but it is not. This proclamation is true for all mankind in all times and in all ways. It has no limitation, constraints or discrimination attached to it.
- The effects of the resurrection saturate everything, physical and spiritual, the entire universe and every inhabitant.
- If the resurrection is not true, there is no hope for salvation either physically or for this broken universe, or spiritually for broken man.
- If the resurrection is not true, the Bible is not true and our faith is not true.
- If the resurrection is not true, then the existence of the God of the Bible is completely untrue, for His entire plan for the universe and humankind sits on the fulcrum of the resurrection.
This week, the traditional world of Christianity celebrates a holiday known as Easter. This holiday is not in Scripture and arguably has its roots in pagan culture. However, it is still a time when very Biblical events are given focus in a society that ignores them for the most part. So it is a time that prudent and shrewd ambassadors for Christ will still utilize to proclaim His life, His death, and His resurrection.
For 2000 years man has sought to discredit the resurrection in ways that range from persuasive to absurd, from logical to idiotic. It is hard to say just how educated each individual Christian needs to be concerning the most common arguments against the resurrection, but it is certainly not a stretch to say that Christians should be much more educated about it than they currently are. The average Christian man knows a whole lot more about the NFL than he does the proofs for the resurrection of his Savior. The average Christian woman is a whole lot more savvy about pop culture and fashion than they are concerning the evidence surrounding the resurrection.
It is well beyond the scope of a lesson from me or even a series of lessons to do more than touch on some basics so I would encourage you to engage in some study on their own concerning this most important topic. There could be no greater use of your study time.
One of the first considerations for the resurrection is to believe that Jesus Christ was indeed dead. His body had expired and his spirit had passed from the flesh. All throughout history this fact has been attacked. There have been theories that he merely fainted or passed out and was revived in the tomb. There are theories that he was never in the tomb, that he was secreted away by the disciples. There have been theories that it wasn’t his body or that it WAS his body, but he never rose to life.
The common denominator is this: it could NOT have been Christ, dead in the tomb and alive again, because that would mean the Bible is true, and the resurrection occurred. Of course we KNOW that couldn’t have happened, so we must brainstorm all of the ways it could have APPEARED to happen. There MUST be an explanation, because it goes without saying that Jesus rising from the dead could not have happened.
What never crosses the mind of the true skeptic is the obvious alternative: maybe it did happen. Since that alternative is never even considered, the silly search for silly theories continues on its silly way. The skeptic never even considers the obvious “other choice”.
Jesus lived. He lived a perfect life. Then we killed Him. Dead. His body was dead. Three days later that body was gloriously transformed and rose to life, scars and all. This single fact is the reason why this sin-cursed earth, this fractured universe, our disease-racked bodies and our hellbound souls can be rescued, redeemed, restored, and renewed.
Believe this fact, and have hope. Ignore this fact and miss out on life, both now and for all eternity.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (NKJV)
Lord God, help us to not only believe in the resurrection of your dear Son, but to know about it too and to be able to defend our faith to a skeptical world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?