At some point whether as an unbelievers seriously investigating the events surrounding the life and death of Jesus Christ. You are confronted with one serious problem. Jesus Christ is reported to have been resurrected from the dead. What one does with Jesus in light of resurrection determines one’s eternity. Either Jesus was who and what He claimed and his miracles testified, or he was the biggest and most successful hoax to brush across the human landscape.
We aren’t only the people to question the validity of the gospels testimony concerning Jesus’ resurrection. For there were certainly those in the first century who doubted the resurrection, and Paul has this to say to the people of Corinth about the resurrection:
“12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Cor 15:12-19).
Paul says that if Christ hasn’t been raised than faith is useless and moreover, he is lying about God. And in verse 19, makes the striking statement, that if in this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. A couple of observations, the last thing a devout Jew, raised his whole life on the Torah would want to do is to lie about God. To falsely testify about Jehovah would be an abomination. He says that if the resurrection isn’t true our faith is useless. That sure doesn’t bring me any comfort. How about those in the first century, and the one’s that follow that were tortured, lost property, maimed and killed all because of their hope in a resurrected Jewish carpenter? Either the resurrection is true or these people and those that follow in their footsteps are seriously deranged. And lastly, if in this life we only have hope in Christ. Cross my name of the roster. What kind of hope would we have, if the story of Jesus ends on Golgotha. A horrible ending, the supposed hope of the world dangling from a wooden cross. If Jesus was Immanuel (God with us), than this whole thing is some sort of divine joke, if indeed the cross is the end of the drama. But, the hope that inspired the early persecutor of the church, the hope that changed the apostles from dim-witted, cowards to bold proclaimers of the Gospel is that the story doesn’t end on the cross. Something, terrible and life shattering happenend three days after the death and burial of Jesus. The tomb were Jesus was laid was found empty, grave clothes lying in the place where just a few days early, followers of Jesus had carefully and tearfully wrapped their beloved Master. The tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was not there. Angles proclaiming what was to good to be true announced his triumph. “He is not here, he has risen.”
This marvelous news has since gripped the hearts of all those that claim allegiance to Christ. The resurrection has implications for you and me and all those that walk in the footsteps of their Lord. The resurrection demands that we become imitators of God as dearly loved children (Eph. 5:1). The resurrection demands that we place more trust in the eternal than in the temporal things of this world. The resurrection demands that our actions speak louder than words. The resurrection demands that we tell others of this marvelous life changing, life shattering news. Jovan Barrington has some great ideas to share about the resurrection, you can check them out here.