IF CHRIST HAD NOT RISEN
"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain,
and your faith is also vain. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye
are yet in your sins. If in this life only we have hope in Christ,
we are of all men most miserable."
(1 Corinthians 15:14,17,19)
The Empty Tomb (Mark 16:1-8)
Did you ever think about what would have happened if Christ had not risen? In the verses above, the apostle Paul tells us that without Jesus' resurrection, our preaching and our faith would be in vain. If we only have hope in Christ as Christians within this life, and not for all eternity, we will be the most miserable of all people. This means that everything depends upon the one and only important fact: a risen Christ. It is important that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is absolutely essential to everything we believe and hope for. It is the cornerstone of our salvation.
If Jesus had not risen, then none of Jesus' following claims and teachings would be fulfilled. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40), and "I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again..." (John 10:17,18).
In reality, if Jesus had not risen, His work would not be finished. After His three years of public ministry, Jesus was crucified, one of His disciples betrayed Him, and another denied Him. Finally, the apostle Mark tells us: "And they all forsook him, and fled" (Mark 14:50). If Jesus had died and would not have risen, where would be the atonement? It would have been impossible for Him, through the Holy Spirit, to dwell in the heart of every believer to give him supernatural power in his daily life. The individual who trusts Jesus Christ shares His life, and that life changes him to break the bond of sin, and to set him free from all his transgressions. In other words, if Christ be not risen, the preaching is empty, our faith is in vain, we remain in our sins, and we are controlled by them. If Christ actually be not risen, His death was just another typical, natural death, and the doctrine of justification is nonsense—only a big joke.
Because some in Corinth did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 explains the importance of the resurrection of Christ and gives us a few terrible realities if there were no resurrection:
1. Preaching Christ would be senseless, and faith in Christ would be useless: "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (v. 14).
2. All the witnesses and all the preachers of the resurrection would be liars: "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not..." (v. 15).
3. No one would be redeemed from sin: "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins"
4. All former believers would have perished: "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (v.18).
5. Believers in Christ would be the most miserable people on the earth: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (v. 19).
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (v. 20), assuring us that we will follow Him in the resurrection. "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power" (1 Corinthians 6:14). What a wonderful and glorious truth! The first evidence of the resurrection is the testimony of the disciples who saw Him in many of His various appearances. "He [Jesus] rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once" (1 Corinthians 15:4-6).
Even with their own previous unbelief, they preached and died for Him. The testimony of the apostle Paul himself is such a vital proof, and all of today's critics cannot explain what made him turn from persecutor of the church to a missionary. Paul saw Jesus and heard Him from heaven and the One whom he thought was dead, he found out was alive. As a result, he gave all his life to Jesus Christ by preaching the gospel and finally dying for Him. Paul believed and taught that "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God..." (Romans 8:34).
The results of preaching about the risen Christ are that people experience forgiveness, peace, salvation, and supernatural power. The final line of evidence of actual resurrection from the dead is the church, a group of men and women and children, joined together from all nations. Before the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals only at certain times and only for particular reasons. But now, after the resurrection, Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer to give him supernatural power in his daily life. Individuals who trust Jesus Christ share His life, and that life changes them.
by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.
Live for Him
"He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart."
I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
Hymn, by Alfred Henry Ackley (1887-1960)
JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN
1 Corinthians Chapter 15:1-28
The Gospel and Proof of the Resurrection
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet 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 which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
The Necessity of the Resurrection
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
The First Fruits and Christ’s Victory
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
If Jesus had not risen from the dead there would be no Christianity.
"The apostles suffered
incredible persecution and
died horrible deaths in the Christian cause. The only possible explanation
for their zeal was that they had actually seen, talked with and eaten with the resurrected
Lord Jesus Christ. If Christ
had not really risen and had
not appeared to the apostles,
would they all have died
for a lie?"
— Author, Fritz Ridenour
"On the third day after Jesus’ own death, He came out of the grave to give the world a sign it cannot deny. For a man to predict His own death and resurrection was something only God could do."
— Pastor and Author, David Jeremiah
"The resurrection is the keystone of the arch on which our faith is supported. If Christ has not risen, we must impeach all those witnesses for lying. If Christ has not risen, we have no proof that the crucifixion of Jesus differed from that of the two thieves who suffered with him. If Christ has not risen, it is impossible to believe his atoning death was accepted."
— Evangelist, Dwight L. Moody
"I know the resurrection is a fact...Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned, and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true..." — Evangelist, Charles Colson
The Apostle Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost of the risen Savior, says, "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And He speaks of Him as the anointed One, exalted at God's right hand and is living to save all who put their trust in Him. The Gospel is the Gospel of the Risen Christ. There would be no Gospel for sinners if Christ had not been raised. So the apostle says, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" — Dr. H.A. Ironside
"The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth." — Dr. Henry M. Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research
"Christianity is in its very essence a resurrection religion. The concept of resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed." — Theologian, John Stott
"Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith. It is the Christian faith." — Theologian, George Carey
"The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there." — Author, Clarence W. Hall
"Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world." — Pastor and Author, Paul Chappe
"The risen life of Jesus is the nourishment and strengthening and blessing and life of a Christian." — Minister, Alexander MacLaren
"By His life, death, and resurrection, our Savior has conquered our enemies, and by His Spirit He has granted us to share in the victory." — Pastor and Theologian, R. C. Sproul
"The believer must know where the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ have forever set him, before he can be an intelligent worshipper, an acceptable servant, or an effectual witness."— Preacher and Writer, C.H. Mackintosh
"Few people seem to realize that the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone to a worldview that provides the perspective to all of life." — Writer and Public Speaker, Josh McDowell
"The resurrection of Christ is one of the foundation-stones of Christianity. It was the seal of the great work that He came on earth to do. It was the crowning proof that the ransom He paid for sinners was accepted, the atonement for sin accomplished, the head of him who had the power of death bruised, and the victory won."— Bishop of Liverpool, J.C. Ryle
"If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead." — Minister and author, Tim Keller
"A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me."— Pastor and Author, Andrew Murray
If Jesus had not risen from the dead then,
we have no hope.
But it’s true. Jesus is alive!
"...HE IS RISEN, AS HE SAID..."
And this fact means everything!
God raised Jesus from the dead to free you and me from sin and bring
the miraculous power of His kingdom into our world!
Without Jesus' resurrection from the dead, life would be hopeless.
Have a Blessed Day!