|Volume 17 Number 1 January 2015||
Mark N. Posey
Christianity stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Christianity is merely one religion among many without the literal, physical resurrection of Christ from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul wrote about the resurrection of Christ. Yet, why is the resurrection so important? First, it proves Jesus’ claims; He is Who He said He is! Secondly, it changes the meaning of our existence. Faith in the resurrection of Christ changes the way we live, think, believe and behave; it gives new meaning to every area of our lives. Thus, what is the significance that the resurrection of Christ has in our lives?
The Resurrection Changes the Meaning of Faith!
“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”(1 Corinthians 15:17). Christianity is based upon a historical fact: Jesus Christ died and rose from the grave! Since He conquered death, all claims, teachings, words and deeds are true; most of all, He is who He claimed to be – the Messiah. That changes everything, especially the meaning of faith! Faith is not just a sentimental wish list, a religious whim or “a pie in the sky” superstition. Instead, it is absolutely true, and God’s promises are all authentic!
The Resurrection Changes the Meaning of Death!
“If Christ be not raised, then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 15:18). If there is no resurrection, then the dead in Christ are gone forever. However, Christ is risen, and that changes everything! Therefore, Christ’s resurrection gives a new meaning to death. Death is not the end, and it no longer has power over us. Death no longer has sting or victory over us (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Thus, death is no longer the end; it is the beginning.
The Resurrection Changes the Meaning of Life!
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). If there is no resurrection, then the whole Christian life is a pitiful joke! If that were true, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (v. 32). However, Christ rose from the grave, and that changes everything – especially the way we handle pain, suffering, sorrow, persecution, mistreatment and trials. Therefore, the only logical purpose for living is not pleasure, but following Jesus Christ and doing His will.
The tombs of Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith and Abraham are all occupied. On the other hand, Jesus Christ’s tomb is empty!
Mark N. Posey
Today the resurrection of Jesus Christ often means to Christians nothing more than proof of life after death. It meant that to the early Christians, but it meant much more. The resurrection was the proof that Jesus was the Messiah of God.
The Resurrection speaks of a living Savior. The angel said, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:4-5). Had Jesus remained in the grave and returned to dust, there would be no hope of deliverance from sin and death.
The Resurrection tells us of the power of God. God’s omnipotence is clearly seen in the resurrection (Romans 1:4). Jesus lives by God’s power (2 Corinthians 13:4).
The Resurrection guarantees our redemption. Righteousness and justification are accounted to those who have faith in God (Romans 4:24-25; 5:1, 9).
The Resurrection is the foundation for the hope of life beyond the grave. See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 6:14 and 2 Corinthians 4:14. Jesus’ resurrection is the promise of our resurrection. When our loved ones die in the Lord and pass into the invisible universe, there is hope. Christians have the same hope of life beyond death.
The Resurrection gives assurance of the judgment. We know that there is a great day coming when God will judge all human beings that have ever lived (Acts 17:30-31). The resurrection gives us that assurance (John 5:21-29).
When Jesus died, the disciples fled because there was no sense in risking one’s life in a lost cause. However, at the very depth of despair, they were suddenly faced with a new development. Jesus was not dead; He was alive, for He had risen!