I have fuller confidence at this point in my life than ever that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I could point to numerous reasons based on observation, logic and history. However, for every solid reason a Christian posits for Jesus life, death, burial and resurrection, there are contending counterpoints. Some people refuse to believe because it threatens their control. It upsets their demand to be in charge of not only their own lives, but of others.
Easter Sunday is glorious day for the tribe of people called Christians. It’s a day that announces when things seem darkest, God works deepest. It’s a declaration that God is in control and that our sin is not. The Resurrection means everything! As the hymn says, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow!”
But what if the Resurrection is unreal? What if the stone was not rolled away? What if it’s all a myth? Some would say that the life of a Christian is still worth living – because of the desired character qualities of love, joy, peace, kindness, etc that the Bible teaches. However, the apostle Paul disagreed. He said that if the Resurrection was not real, then Christians should be pitied:
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 5:13-19)
Look at the results of a false belief in Christ’s resurrection:
- Everything that Christians preach and proclaim is in vain.
- The faith of Christians globally in a Savior is in vain.
- Christians are the greatest sinners, because we’ve lied about God.
- Faith means nothing at all, for there is no hope for eternal life.
- Sins are not forgiven, because there has been no way provided for atonement – apart from the Old Testament rituals of sin offerings.
- Those who have died, trusting Jesus as Savior, have truly perished. Either they are in Hell for believing a lie, or they are simply no more.
- Christians should be pitied.
Fortunately, the Resurrection is Real. In the same chapter, Paul continues his reasoning and concludes with praise that not only has Jesus been raised, but through faith in Him, all can be raised! Forgiven sins, hopeful lives, hearts at peace with God and a mission to proclaim God’s grace to the nations are all results of the Resurrection.
Yet perhaps the greatest gift of the Resurrection is simply… life. With Jesus. He saved us from death for Himself. A love relationship that cannot be interrupted or snatched away.
“‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15.54-57)
Happy Easter! He is risen indeed!
- Do you live an “Easter life?” (like Jesus HAS been resurrected) What are evidences that your life reveals a living Lord?
- What have been some of your biggest hangups about fully believing in the resurrection?
- What did you think about Paul’s conclusions about Jesus not being raised?