Our Faith Is Not Futile
Read 1 Corinthians 15:17-20 (ESV)
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. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
If Jesus was never resurrected, what would be the point of Christianity?
Throughout the course of history, there have been many who have called the resurrection of Jesus into question and tried to disprove it. From day one, we see the chief priests and elders paying off the guards to spread the rumor that the disciples came and stole Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:11-15).
But if the disciples stole the body, what did they do with it? Jesus’ body has never been recovered. How did they get past the armed Roman soldiers that were guarding the tomb? How did they remove that heavy stone? Most convincingly, why were they willing to stick to this story even in the face of severe persecution? Remember, all of the disciples were persecuted for maintaining that Jesus rose from the grave. In fact, only John escaped martyrdom and died of natural consequences but even he had been severely persecuted and exiled to the island of Patmos. Does it make sense that all of these men would faithfully maintain a lie for all of those years only to die for it? They didn’t have anything to gain for lying. Instead, they lost everything for speaking the truth!
But there were even more eyewitnesses of the risen Christ than just the 12 disciples. Paul explained, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He appeared to more than 500 people. And what’s more, after He appeared to these eyewitnesses, their lives were transformed! For example, Paul encountered Jesus and he was never the same!
In today’s passage, Paul says that if Jesus has not been raised, we are still dead in our sins. Without the resurrection, we have no hope for life after death. In that case, our faith would be pointless. We would be people deserving of pity for foolishly believing something false and for dedicating our lives and even suffering for a lie!
And yet, it isn’t a lie! We have every reason to believe that Jesus was bodily raised from the dead on the third day. Paul says that because Christ has been raised from the dead, we can have full assurance that we will be resurrected as well! In 1 Corinthians 15:22 he says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
Friends, our faith is not futile! We are not the ones to be pitied! Rather, our hearts should break for those who are perishing in unbelief. We should dedicate our lives to sharing the Gospel with others so that they too may believe and be saved. In Christ, our debt is paid, our sins are forgiven, we are made right with the Father, we have the assurance of everlasting life, and we are transformed! We should share this Good News with others every chance we get!
Jesus, thank You for the incredible hope that we have in You. Your resurrection proves that You are one with the Father, just as You said. You have the power to forgive my sins and You will raise me up with You to live forever. Give me opportunities to share Your Good News with those who are lost and perishing in unbelief. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
Why Easter Changes Everything, by Pastor Nat Crawford is our gift to you to enjoy and share with others. Download your free e-copy here.
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