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Resurrection: Christ and You

Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

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?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.   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.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.  1 Corinthians 15:12-19

Many of you will read this passage and mumble to yourself, “ so what.”  Or, you may have said through repetitive repeatings that the statements are all true, and we do not need a lot of time to read them and discuss them  However, we all need to be reminded on a daily basis of the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Contained in this short passage is the heart and work of Jesus Christ on this earth.

The death of Christ allowed Him to sprinkle His Blood on the more perfect altar not touched by human hands that exists in heaven.  (See Hebrews 7-11).  When His blood hit the top of the Atonement Seat, all of the sins for all mankind in the past and in the future have been forgiven by God.  WOW!! 

In much of his writings, Paul uses the opposite point of view (frequently called the “Devil’s Advocate”) to get people to think. He also uses hyperboles to take people to the extremes in arguments.  I think Paul uses both of these techniques in the passage above.  He uses them to make his points crystal clear.  For example, his first point concludes that there is no resurrection!  To believe that there is no resurrection is a very difficult concept for many Christians.    Therefore, if Paul is correct, all of the preaching, Sunday School teaching, special Bible studies, and everything about Easter becomes meaningless and futile. 

The passage goes on to say some personal things to us as Believers.  Paul says that since Christ was not raised, we have not experienced resurrection.  Our faith in Christ being raised from the dead is useless.  At the same time, Paul calls us false witnesses about God, and your sins will be held against you at the Final Judgment.  Paul’s conclusion is that no one can literally and bodily come back from the grave.  Paul paints a very dismal picture.  Stop here for a moment and think about the consequences of no resurrection. 

Paul does not stop with ourselves, but he also talks about those who have died before we do.  “Fallen asleep” is the Bible’s way of saying that someone has died.  This could be any of your relatives and friends.  Christians were referring to those who had already died as “falling asleep because of the tremendous impact of the resurrection. They would have no hope of resurrection.  This brings up the key word about Christ not bing resurrected, and that word is “hopeless”.  Living a life of hopelessness is full of despair, not thinking about the future.

Finally, Paul concludes that all of us whose hope is based only on this life and our relationship with Christ, without resurrection are to be most pitted.  This is why I strongly recommend that you always spend some time thinking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and your resurrection.  If something happened to you or one of your closest relatives, you know that Christ was resurrected, and He is coming again to take us to our eternal home.  We will receive a new resurrected body, and spend an eternity with God will become a reality.  This is the HOPE that every Believer should have deep inside them with a strength of conviction that no one can put a dent in your Hope.  How would you explain your Christian hope to someone else?  I have attempted to give you a renewed hope that is crystal clear.  You can now live with that Hope through any worldly crises or disasters.  Never lose this hope: Christ was raised from the dead and He promises that you will also be raised from the dead and given a new resurrected body.

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