Happy Resurrection Sunday, Happy Easter! For ages now Christians have celebrated the Son of God bursting out of the grave on this day, and that really matters. Jesus was dead, and then wasn’t. No one else in history has experienced that, (Lazarus did, but it took another to raise him from death), no one else has killed death itself by dying and rising themselves. This is huge to say the least. But I have a thought: many people say, “If all this Jesus stuff turns out to be false in the end, I still would have lived a good life.” Is this correct? No, let me tell you why.
1 Corinthians 15:17-20, “…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…”
If Jesus has not been raised….
Your faith is worthless, and you are still in your sins (v17). If Jesus did not rise, our faith would be worthless because it is through the resurrection that we know Jesus defeated death and sin on the cross. If Jesus did not rise, He is still dead. If Jesus is still dead, we are still in our sins! If we are still in our sins, God is still at odds with us. Infinite wrath is still coming directed at you! (Go through Law, and let the weight of it their sin sink in) Therefore, our faith that says Jesus brought us forgiveness is worthless, because it would be a lie.
Those who have died as believers are now alone (v18). If Jesus did not rise, He is still dead. If Jesus is still dead, He did not go into heaven. If Jesus did not go into heaven, He did not go to prepare a place for us. If He did not prepare a place for us, there is no eternal life. If there is no eternal life, then no Christian will die and go to heaven. Therefore, everyone Christian we know who has died, has not gone to heaven; they have just ceased to exist.
We are of all men the most to be pitied (v19). If Jesus is still dead, than everything He said to us was a lie. He said that His kingdom is not of this world. If that was not true, than His kingdom does not exist. If His kingdom does not exist, and we claim to belong in that Kingdom and claim that our whole entire lives are built in that Kingdom, we are the biggest losers on the planet. The last thing anybody would want to be is a Christian.
-Feeling a little gloomy?
1 Corinthians 15:20: Cheer up! Jesus has been raised!
Our faith is priceless. Verse 17 is turned around by verse 20. Because Jesus has been raised we are no longer in our sins. Death has been defeated, and our faith is the most precious thing we have!
Those who have died as believers are now with Jesus. Verse 18 is turned around by verse 20. Because Jesus has been raised He has gone to prepare a place for us. Because of this, we know that there is eternal life. Therefore, if there is eternal life, every Christian has gone there upon death.
We are not to be pitied, but we are triumphant! Verse 19 is turned around by verse 20. Because Jesus has been raised, His kingdom really exists! If it really exists, than that means that we are citizens of a more real nation than America will ever be! Our whole lives are built upon the truth and because of this, we are not losers.
a) If Jesus is really risen, than that means that we are never alone in life. He is there right now sitting on His throne in heaven ruling and reigning over all things. Therefore, when we go through hard times in life (whatever that looks like for you) there is always someone to go to.
b) If Jesus is really risen, than that means that we have the truth that can save the world. We would all save a blind man from walking into the path of a bus right? How much more can we give and share the real truth that will save from death and hell?! The real people to pity in this world are those people who do not have the gospel!