We celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ this past Sunday. I would like to bring to our attention what the resurrection of Christ means. Let me start by defining resurrection. Most of us know the meaning, but I believe certain things are worth repeating. Merriam Webster defines resurrection as: “the rising again to life of all the human dead before the final judgment; the state of one risen from the dead.”
Let’s look at what the Apostle Paul said to the church in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20: “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
The Apostle Paul clearly indicated five things that would be a disaster if Christ did not rise from the dead. Let’s look at the following contrasts. In verse 14, we see two of them. The first one is: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching of the gospel is in vain.” But since Christ has been raised, our preaching is not in vain.
The second one is if Christ had not been raised “your faith is in vain.” But since Christ has resurrected from the dead, our faith is not in vain.
In Verse 15, we see the third contrast: If Christ has not been raised, “we are found to be false witnesses, because we testified of God that he raised Christ.” But since the resurrection of Christ from the dead is true, that gave the apostles credibility and, therefore, they were not falsely witnessing about the work of God.
We discover the fourth contrast in Verse 17: “If Christ has not been raised then your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” But since Christ has been raised, we are no longer in our sins, but are now a new creation.
In verse 18, we find the fifth contrast which gives us hope for the future for those who are in Christ. If our Lord Jesus Christ has not been raised, then “those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” But since Jesus Christ has been raised, the dead in Christ have not perished and will be resurrected.
As powerful as the three years of Christ’s ministry were, I believe everything about Christianity hinges upon the resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
The resurrection of Christ not only gives us the opportunity to spend eternity with God the Father, but it also gives us victory over sin and impacts our lives here on earth.
The resurrection of Christ is important to us because it is the basis of our trust that Jesus is God as he claimed. He even predicted His death and resurrection and He claimed to be the only way to salvation and eternal life.
The resurrection of Christ gives us the basis of our hope of new life now and for the future. Remember, He is risen from the dead. Don’t seek him among the dead. God bless.