5 Reasons Why the Resurrection Is Essential to the Christian Faith
April 13, 2017 Year A
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact of history. It is also an essential reason for the Christian faith. Without it, the Christian faith fails. I want to share with you five reasons why the resurrection of Jesus Christ is necessary for the Christian faith.
FIVE POSITIVE REASONS WHY THE RESURRECTION IS ESSENTIAL TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
1. The fact is that Christ was raised (1 Corinthians 15:13).
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised;” (1 Corinthians 15:13, HCSB)
This is a fact of history. It is not just a fundamental truth of the Christian faith. It is necessary fact that builds the truth of the Christian faith. If the resurrection is true, then my witness is effective.
2. My witness is effective (1 Corinthians 15:14-16).
“and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:14–16, HCSB)
The foundation of my witness is the resurrection of Jesus. The power of my witness is how the resurrection has changed my life. The effectiveness happens not because of my oratory or ability. The effectiveness is based upon the work of Christ. His resurrection ensures that my witness will do its work in the life of another person.
3. I have power over sin (1 Corinthians 15:17).
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17, HCSB)
The forgiveness I received from Jesus gives me power over sin. The forgiveness of financial debt gives a person more power over their money. When I am debt-free, I have the freedom to spend my money in the ways I want. Naturally, if my debt is paid, I am indebted to the one who paid it off.
Why do I owe allegiance to the one who paid off my debt? It is because I am indebted to that person. I may have freedom, but my allegiance changes to the one who paid off my debt.
Jesus paid off my sin debt. As a result, I owe Him my allegiance. Since Jesus paid my sin debt, He is the one One who has power over sin. So when I run into sin trouble, Jesus is the One who can help me overcome it.
Just as that debt-payer has the ability to teach me financial freedom, Jesus can teach me freedom in life.
4. I will have eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:18).
“Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished.” (1 Corinthians 15:18, HCSB)
Yet, Jesus doesn’t give me just life. He gives me eternal life. The sin debt that He paid is an eternal debt. Since Jesus is God, and God is greater than those He created, Jesus is greater than me. He is eternal and therefore knows about eternal life. Because God raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus has power over death. Since He has power over death, He can grant me eternal life.
5. My life matters (1 Corinthians 15:19).
“If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.” (1 Corinthians 15:19, HCSB)
If Jesus can grant me eternal life, then He can affect my life today. This means that my life matters. I can make a significant contribution in this life. Part of that contribution is telling people about the Person who made my life worth something.
Paul’s conclusion to his argument is that if the resurrection is false, then my life is meaningless. But since the resurrection is true, my life has meaning. If Jesus raised from the dead, then when I trust Him, I have power over death and can have eternal life. The Bible connects all kinds of rewards to the good works I do as a Christian. These rewards would be worthless and of no value, if the resurrection were false. But since Jesus fulfilled the ultimate promise, His other promises are guaranteed to come true.
Photo by Surgun100 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons