For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; and your are still in your sin!

(1 Corinthians 15:16-17)

The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is vital to Christianity - without it the entire New Testament is without meaning. Jesus told his disciples that he was going to die and that he would be resurrected. If only part of this actually occurred (that is, his death), then the faith of every Christian is futile.

 Jesus promised that those who believed in him would never die, but have eternal life (John 3:16). But, if Jesus did not rise from the grave, we can forget about the promise of eternal life.

 

WHAT HAPPENED?

There are only three possible explanations of the resurrection that can be considered:
  1. The disciples lied. The early church began because Jesus' disciples believed that, after his death, he rose from the dead. It was the main subject of their preaching. Without Jesus' resurrection, all that the disciples had was a dead teacher; not the Son of God. The disciples were persecuted, jailed, and killed for their belief in Jesus. Would men continue to suffer and give their lives for a lie? Why would these twelve simple, unschooled men develop lies and schemes that would make modern political intrigue look like child's play?
  2. The disciples were fooled. Some would have us believe that all of the appearances of Jesus were hallucinations. However, there were many witnesses to the risen Christ. Jesus appeared to all of the gathered disciples on a number of occasions as well as to Paul. He also appeared to more than 500 people at one time. Is it likely that five hundred people could have the same hallucination at once?
  3. Jesus truly rose from the dead. The only possibility is the one that was prophesized in the Old Testament and also by Jesus himself. Jesus died on the cross and three days later was raised from the dead. What else could have happened?

 

WHY IS IT SO VITAL?

    In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, Paul gives seven reasons why the resurrection is so vital. If the dead do not rise from the grave, then:

    1. "Christ is not risen" (v. 13)
    2. "our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty" (v. 14)
    3. "we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ. ." (v. 15)
    4. "your faith is futile" (v. 17)
    5. "you are still in your sins" (v. 17)
    6. "also those who have fallen asleep [died] in Christ have perished" (v. 18)
    7. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." (v. 19)

       

HE IS ALIVE!

    The tomb that was found that Sunday morning two thousand years ago was empty because Jesus was not dead but alive. The angel who was at the tomb that morning said, "He is not here;  for He is risen,  as He said." (Matthew 28:6). He is alive today and invites you to be with Him in paradise for eternity. If you would like to know more, then perhaps you should consider The Journey.


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