Really Rose from the Dead?
-by Tony Warren
1st Corinthians 15:12-19
We read here in these verses seven reasons why the resurrection of Christ is so vital to true Christianity. God makes it clear that if the dead do not rise from the grave, then:
1. "Christ Himself is not risen!"
2. "our preaching of it is empty, and your faith is also empty!"
3. "we are found as false witnesses of God, because we have
4. "our faith is futile if this is not true!"
5. "We are still in our sins if this is not true!"
6. "Those who have fallen asleep [died] in Christ, have perished!"
7. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable!"
Without Christ's resurrection, and our own resurrection from the dead in Him, the entire New Testament is without confirmation or validation.
Christ had to die in order to Confirm or strengthen the Testament with many. Jesus told his Disciples that he was going to die and that he would be resurrected. If only part of this was true (that is, his death), then the faith of every Christian is in vain because Jesus did not tell the truth. That cannot be! His Words are the Word of God and absolutely true and trustworthy! If not, then how are we made righteous by Him? All these things hinge on Christ's death and Resurrection.
Jesus promised that those who believed in Him would never die, but have eternal life (-John 3:16). And so if Jesus did not rise from the dead, how then can we believe the promise of eternal life? If Jesus rose not, then what about the testimony?
There are only three possible answers.
1. The Apostles lied about it!
First of all, the integrity of the Apostles is self evident, they did not lie! Second, they could not have been fooled, as their testimony is that they themselves saw Him, and talked with Him. Third, more than that, there were many witnesses (including Paul) to the risen Christ as Jesus appeared not only to all of the Apostles a number of times, but also to many others.
1st Corinthians 15:4-8
And so it's clear that the Apostles truly saw Him and talked with Him. And like Christ, the Apostles were hated and reviled and persecuted, and indeed killed for their belief in Jesus. Do you think that men perpetrating a silly fraud would continue to suffer and give their very lives for a lie, or for a resurrection which they were unsure of? It is ridiculous to think so!
The very Church began because Jesus's Apostles believed that after his death, he rose from the dead. It is the main point of the gospel preaching. Without Christ's resurrection, all that the Church has to stand upon is a dead man, not a living Saviour! But Praise God, Christ is Risen, and the importance of that resurrection is in us, who have been risen with Him. A Resurrection, without which, we are still dead in sins and are of all men most foolish.
Copyright ©1998 Tony Warren
Created 7/7/98 / Last Modified 12/5/99
The Mountain Retreat / firstname.lastname@example.org