Vol. 11 No. 6 June 2009
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
What makes Christianity so unique and special? While it is the case that many things could be named in this regard, certainly the resurrection of Christ makes each day for the Christian, worth living! The founder of Christianity, unlike the founders of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Animism and all other ism’s that plague our world, is alive! Death could not hold the builder and founder of true Christianity, because He rose from the grave on the third day (cf. Matthew 16:18; 27:64 — 28:6)! Because of the resurrection from the dead, Jesus is declared and proven to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:19-23; Revelation 1:18; et al). The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the powerful key to Christianity! What would life be like “If Christ is not raised?”
If Christ is not Raised, then PREACHING IS POINTLESS (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14a). All of the preaching of the inspired apostles is empty rhetoric if Christ was not raised from the dead! This word “vain” actually means “empty, vain, and devoid of truth” (Thayer 343). Without the resurrection, the preaching of Jesus as the Christ means nothing (cf. Romans 1:4)!
If Christ is not Raised, then FAITH IS FUTILE (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14b). Faith in the Gospel is made sure because that faith is based upon real facts (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-9; 2 Peter 1:16). If Christ was not raised from the dead, then what makes Christianity different from any other world religion? If Christ was not raised, then our faith is placed in one who was a mere mortal, and we have no eternal Savior!
If Christ is not Raised, then THE APOSTLES ARE ARTIFICIAL (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:15). If the resurrection of Christ is false, then we have no reason to believe anything else taught by the apostles, because they would be false, artificial fakes (cf. Acts 2:32; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8). Certainly, no artificial fake could be trusted on any point!
If Christ is not Raised, then SIN STILL SHACKLES (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:17). How devastating! Jesus came to earth to shed His blood and save mankind (Luke 19:10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; et al). However, if Christ was not raised, then His blood meant nothing, and sins were never remitted (cf. Romans 4:25; Hebrews 7:25)!
If Christ is not Raised, then CHRISTIANITY IS CONDEMNING (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:18-19). If Christ was not raised, then there is no hope for any resurrection, for any of us, and no hope for life after death! Every grave becomes a mockery and every death a confounding disaster! The promises of the Scriptures are nothing more than lies to you and me if Christ was not raised (cf. Psalm 116:15; Revelation 14:13)! What utter and wretched misery is ours, if our only hope is in this life!
However, the good news is that Christ IS risen (1 Corinthians 15:20)! The witness of the apostles and others ring forth; thus, our faith is strong and triumphant! Instead of being miserable and hopeless, we courageously look beyond the grave (1 Thessalonians 4:14; 1 Peter 1:3). Oh “if Christ is not raised” life is not worth living, but thanks be to God, the abundant life both here and now is reality (John 10:10)! Are you living that life?