If Christ Be Not Risen
“…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin].”
1 Corinthians 15:17
From the time of Jesus’ birth and throughout His ministry, his enemies tried to kill him at any given opportunity. Now that he had finally been crucified publicly and buried, they intended that it remain this way even to the extent of bribery to cover up the truth of Christ’s resurrection.
When the guards at the tomb realised that Jesus had risen, they reported it to the chief Priests who in turn upon consulting with the other elders,…
“gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying,
“Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’
And if this comes to the governor’s ears,
we will appease him and make you secure.”
So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
– Matthew 28:11-15
Did Jesus rise from the dead?
For those questioning the resurrection of the dead, Paul presents a strong argument in 1 Corinthians 15, to the extent that he asks them to consider their own faith and spiritual state if indeed the dead are not raised.
What I hear him say is, if Christ is not risen, what we are doing is a waste of time! Our Christian testimony is a sham. Let’s pack up our bags. And worst of all – we are still in our sins!
“what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” – 1 Corinthians 15:32
So, what really happened?
Paul presents an account of the reason, events and eye witnesses to Christ’s resurrection including himself.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
– 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
According to Paul, for those saying that there is no resurrection of the dead, the final verdict would be that the apostles are false witnesses of God.
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.” – 1 Corinthians 15:13-15
Christ’s resurrection our hope
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.” – 1 Corinthians 15:20-21
One door opened us up to death, another door leads us into life.
“The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. – 1 Corinthians 15:45
Death, the penalty of our sin inherited through Adam is cancelled through Christ’s death and resurrection for all who believe. (Romans 6:23)
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. – 1 Corinthians 15:22
Thanks be to God who has given us the victory through his son Jesus through whom we are made alive.
CHRIST IS RISEN
"Look, he is coming with the clouds," and "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be!
Full Reading 1 Corinthians 15