Friday, April 6, 2012

What if Christ had not risen?

1Co 15:1 -20 “ Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,   and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 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, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact 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 worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” (NASB)

I was thinking this week of how important the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to us. Paul tells us in this passage how important it really is.  He tells us that he delivers it of first importance. It is more important than anything else. That Christ died for our sins, that He was buried and that He rose again. This is the most important thing to Paul. He tells us this is why it is true: He was seen by many people like the apostles over 500 people at one time and He appeared to Paul.  He is telling them, here is the proof you need to know this is true. There are eye witnesses who saw Him. Then Paul goes on and He says if you preach Christ, that He was raised from the dead then why do some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead. Paul in the way He argues most of His things and in the way He writes goes on with logic. He says if there is no resurrection of the dead then not even Christ was raised from the death. If Christ was not raised from the dead then, everything we are preaching, what we stand for is in vain, it is worthless; we are following after a dead man. Our faith is in vain. Not only that we have sinned against God because we have lied about God raising Jesus from the dead. And in this case it was something God did not do so therefore there is no resurrection from the dead. Then He goes through the argument again, just to make sure they understand it.  He ends with “You are still in your sins.” Then everyone who believed it and died has perished. If our hope was in Christ alone then we should be pitied. This is how man in this day and age looks at us, because they do not understand that we serve a living Savior. Paul says “BUT NOW CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD.”

What a case for the resurrection of Christ, Paul made. If Christ has not been raised, we are fools following a dead man. Paul’s confidence is great. Christ has been raised from the dead and we serve a risen Savior not a dead man. We serve the one who has conquered death for all time and who has made a way for us to go to heaven for all time.

Do we have the same confidence to say, “Christ has been raised from the dead”? Do we really believe that He has been raised from the dead? Or do we just say it, because that is what the Bible says or that is what we have been told? In our hearts do we really believe it and does that reflect in our lives?

Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead. We do indeed serve a risen Savior and not a dead man. Let us not forget that our faith would be in vain, without Christ being raised from the dead three days later.


1 comment:

  1. TJ, beautifully written commentary on Paul's verses in I Corinthians 15. Indeed a risen Savior is not a dead man, and we follow and serve a risen Savior. How thrilling to know He is risen indeed!!!