Imagine with me…God took clay from the earth and molded a man out of it and breathed life into him! Man chose to sin…the penalty for that was separation from God…Death!
Thousands of years later a baby was born; a baby that was 100% God and 100% human...the Son of God. He lived a perfect, sinless life, which He offered to pay for the death that everyone else deserved. He was taken…beaten, scourged, then nailed to the cross. God the Father poured out His wrath on His own Son, instead of you and me…then Jesus died…not with a whimper…with full confidence that He had accomplished what He had come for and with a clear security that His Father would take His spirit.
Three days later the tomb He had been laid in was empty. Jesus had raised from the dead, and nothing has ever been the same!
Have you considered the impact of this? Paul did, yet from the aspect of what if it had not happened?
1 Corinthians 15:12–19 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
· Our Message is a waste of time!
And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless.
All our study, all our material development, translations, schools, churches, mission’s efforts…all of it was a waste of time! We should have only fed the poor and cared for the weak, but not bore them with a fairytale…leave that to Hollywood! The ironic thing is, if I am wrong I accept that reality. However, so many get so upset that I believe this, Why? Scripture explains:
Ecclesiastes 3:11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
Romans 1:20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
No matter how much a person tries to believe a lie…his heart will still know deep inside that Someone designed him.
· We are liars!
And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.
We join the list of diluted individuals that have harassed the world throughout the ages claiming to possess the truth about the world’s beginning and end, Who God is and how to spend eternity with Him. Truer still…not only are we liars, but the greatest liar of all is Jesus Christ himself!
Matthew 16:13–17 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
If Jesus did not raise, He is not some good man that was sincere but wrong. He is either completely insane or an evil liar on the scale of Hitler! Millions have given their life to serve and even die for Him because He claimed to be it! Not one of the truths, not one of the ways…the ONLY way to God! Everything Jesus claimed about Himself was predicated upon His resurrection! His resurrection validated everything He said about Himself!
Romans 1:1–4 … the gospel of God…which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord
· All believers are wasting their lives and are still Dead in sin!
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.
I have spent the majority of my life living away from my family and friends, leaving what the world calls a “1st world” country, i.e. an affluent and comfortable country, for a “3rd world” country, i.e. huge gap between rich and poor. The city I live in is very hot, polluted and crowded. While many that call this home are doing all they can to migrate to other countries, my wife and I have chosen to live there. I am living off far less then I could make if I worked in the market of the world. Why? The answer is simple…Jesus has led us to share His message with these folks so they can experience eternal life in Him. If Jesus never arose from the dead, I have wasted my life, my wife’s life, and my children’s life! I have lived in a place I am not comfortable in, when I could have lived in the city of my dreams. I have not been able to afford the home I would like, the cars I would like, nor help my children very much with their college education. The little I have managed to save will not carry us through retirement, and we have not been able to afford consistent medical insurance. I could go on but no need, my point is made. This is not just some added ingredient to my life…Who Jesus Christ is…is my life! If I die and appear before Mr. Potato Head, and find out Jesus was a liar, not only will I feel completely foolish, I would also want to do Jesus bodily harm! If Jesus did not raise, my entire life from the point of salvation has been a waste and I am still in my sin.
· No hope, No personal God, We are on our own.
In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
The God of the Old Testament made promises and prophecies that His Messiah would come…very specific promises and prophecies. Jesus fulfilled all of them; from birth to burial. Daniel prophesied the exact amount of days till Jesus would die. Jesus fulfilled that. If this Jesus was able to fulfill every prophecy but He stayed in the grave, than this whole thing is nothing more than a very diabolical plan of deception! So we not only have no hope, but the God of the Old Testament was fabricated…so we are alone. We might as well believe this whole thing was a freak accident and happened when cosmic gas just happened to create life that crawled out of the muck and mire, to swing from a tree and land on it’s feet with a brain unlike any other animal on the planet! If the Jesus I believe in was temporal, I would not become some evil, drug induced, womanizer! However, I would not waste my time and life sacrificing the wealth and good pleasures of this world, to sacrifice what I could have now, because there is no later. This is it so I might as well go for it now…IF Jesus is still in the grave!
What’s interesting is Paul makes it clear that we are pitiful people, because we have invested our lives in a lie. Isn’t it interesting that the world doesn’t get this! They say we are wrong and what we believe is not true, yet instead of feeling sorry for us…they hate and mock us. Why? If we are wrong and they are right, why get mad? Just relax…if your truth is Truth, no matter what I believe or how hard I believe it will change what is Truth. I believe the world is wrong and I stand on Truth, still, I don’t hate people who disagree, I have genuine concern for them, because not only do I believe Jesus Christ did raise from the dead, but I also believe that if an individual dies in unbelief, they will be separated from God forever. That does not make me mad at them; it makes me sad for them.
Paul stated the record:
1 Corinthians 15:3–8 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.
What is interesting is even non-Christian writers at that time did not deny the empty tomb; they just claim that Jesus really did not die and escaped His tomb, or that His dead body was stolen by His disciples.
I will side with the testimony of Scripture, and the Integrity of Jesus Christ. He said He would raise and He kept His word. So I will live my life from this philosophy:
I will not sacrifice the ultimate on the alter of the immediate! I will not throw away eternity for what the temporal offers. I will enjoy the “now”…but I will live toward eternity!
1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
As believers we can never be afraid to ask the tough questions, Truth is never controlled by fear. Otherwise we will deceive ourselves!
If there is an eternity…what is your plan to make it there? Jesus has a plan…it makes sense. We must live perfect to spend eternity with Him…but we can’t! Jesus did live perfect and offered His life to settle the debt our sin made. God accepted that payment and Jesus came back to life on the third day, with the authority to offer anyone that can admit they fall short of perfection the opportunity to be forgiven, be made children of God through His salvation. That’s a rock solid plan that no one, no Politicians, no Preachers nor Hollywood, can alter. You either accept it through trusting belief (faith) or your reject it. It’s up to you. What is your plan? My God is not designed by me…He is revealed in Scripture and I have to accept Him as He is, not try and remake Him in my image. Too many in the world worship what they have created. Like the man in Isaiah:
Isaiah 44:15–17 Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it! He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!”
Trust in God…not your idea of god!