“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”1 Corinthians 15:13-19
All across the world today, Christians celebrated Easter, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It closes out a really big week in the Christian faith, often called “Holy Week.” It began with a humble Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, as crowds praised Him. In the middle of the week, we find Jesus betrayed just hours after He washed the feet of His disciples. Towards the middle to end of the week, we find Jesus beaten and crucified. The story seems to end with His death and burial. Every other story of a religious leader does end that way. Our lives will also end the same way. This particular story is far from over.
Most people typically hold to the view that Christ was then crucified on a Friday and rose again on Sunday. Biblically, and according to the Jewish calendar, this thought isn’t really accurate. The other belief is that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, spent three days in the tomb, was resurrected Saturday evening, and the women recorded in the gospels found the empty tomb on Sunday morning. Regardless of which day you believe Christ was crucified and resurrected, it doesn’t change the main point: the tomb is empty!
I really appreciate how the apostle Paul explained it in the above verse; taken from his letter to the Corinthians. Imagine the disappointment if Jesus never rose from the dead. It would shatter the Christian faith. In fact, I don’t even think Christianity would even be a thing today if Christ didn’t fulfill everything He promised to. Every prophecy of the Old Testament would be like reading a Farmer’s Almanac. The Bible would be part fact and mainly fiction. There would be zero foundation for the early Church to build upon. The apostles and disciples who would go on to later become martyrs, wouldn’t have believed in something so definitively that they would be willing to be tortured and killed, if it was all a lie. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead after three days, like He promised, it would have all stopped there. Everyone who followed Him and believed, would have to admit they’d been duped.
We would have no hope for today. This life here on earth would be an empty existence, with no hope of a future in Heaven and an eternity with our Creator. We could go through this life on earth, doing whatever we please, with no consequences for our actions. Christ died, stayed dead like every other religious leader, so seize the day and do whatever makes you happy today!
That isn’t the case however. We do have hope and your life and my life has amazing rewards and purpose…in and through Jesus Christ. Let me ask you something. If Christ isn’t who He claimed to be, and millions of Christians who celebrated today, celebrated the most elaborate hoax in human history, why is Jesus Christ the most documented and written about Man that ever walked the earth? If He is no big deal, why have Christians throughout history risked their lives, endured persecution, and faced martyrdom, over the belief that He didn’t stay in the grave? Why is the Word of God the most published and longest-standing Book ever published? Why are there some today that become so viciously angry at the mention of name “Jesus?” Seriously, if it’s all just some big lie, why?