I was stumped by the topic of my next message — CY Jesus Lives. What exactly do I need to persuade people to believe about the resurrection of Jesus, other than the fact that it did happen, that is crucial to their understanding of the gospel? As it turns out, I needed some persuasion myself of its significance. So what if Jesus was raised from the dead?
Apparently in Paul’s time, just as much as in ours, people were skeptical that the dead could live again. The Corinthians did not believe that the followers of Jesus would be raised, even though they agreed that Jesus was resurrected. But Paul argues if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Jesus was raised.
At this point, in order to understand the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, Paul examines the alternative instead: ‘So what if Jesus was not raised?’ It will mean that:
- Preaching of the gospel is in vain
- Our faith in Jesus Christ is in vain
- The apostles have misrepresented God by saying he raised Jesus to life
- Our faith is futile and we are still in our sins
- Dead Christians have died and that’s all
- Believers are the most pitiable of all people because they have hope in Christ for only this life, ie. they have no hope of life beyond the grave
Now we can get back to our original question: So what if Jesus was raised from the dead?