Why the Resurrection Matters

three crosses at sunset

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 1 Corinthians 15:14 NKJV

 

If you’ve ever lived near a train track, you know how obnoxious and untimely a train horn can be. But you also know that after a while the sound of the train, which once was a regular annoyance, becomes hardly noticeable. Sure, there is a vague awareness of trains going by, but the noise has long since faded into the background. Familiarity can breed deafness and blindness.

Paul wants to ensure that what he passed on to the church in Corinth “as of first importance” didn’t fade into the background of familiarity. He reminds them of the vital importance of the resurrection. Simply put, Paul tells them and us very clearly that if the resurrection didn’t actually happen as a real, physical event in history, Christianity is worthless. He says that if Christ has not been raised, preaching the gospel is useless, faith is futile, and those who believe are the most pitiful people (1 Cor. 15:14, 17, 19). Scholars, both believers and skeptics alike, agree that without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.

Why is Paul so emphatic regarding the importance of the resurrection? It is because everything about Jesus is validated in the resurrection event. Jesus made claims about himself, claims to messiahship and divinity.  C. S. Lewis famously put forward the so-called trilemma, which points out that Jesus was either an outright liar, a lunatic, or he was indeed Lord.

Jesus also predicted his bodily resurrection and pointed to it as the “sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12:39; Luke 11:29). As we will see, the resurrection is on firm historical footing. Because of this, we can be confident that Jesus wasn’t a charlatan or a madman. He is Lord.

Scripture for Reflection:
John 8:58–59: Jesus claims to be God, using ego ami “I am” in this passage. It is clear that this is a claim of divinity from the reaction of the Jews that follows.
– In Matthew 12:39–40 and Luke 11:29, Jesus states that his resurrection will be the sign to validate his claims.

Why do you think it can be so easy to lose sight of the profound richness of familiar passages?

Bible Study

More
  • A Top 100 Most-Asked Question About the Bible for the New Year

    Many people who read the Bible don't understand what... Read more
  • Contentment

    As humans, we are not often satisfied. That is because... Read more
  • What is Scripture Engagement?

    Scripture Engagement is more than just a regular Bible... Read more

Comfort

More
  • Contentment

    As humans, we are not often satisfied. That is because... Read more
  • Encounter God Through Journaling His Word

    Journaling your thoughts, insights, and prayers as you... Read more
  • Be Thankful for Jesus, the God-Man

    As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, only one... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

More
  • What is Scripture Engagement?

    Scripture Engagement is more than just a regular Bible... Read more
  • The Legacy of Studying God’s Word | NIV Verse Mapping Bibles

    Verse-mapping is a technique of studying the Bible... Read more
  • Guide to Family Worship: Help Your Child Learn How to Handle Fear

    Dear Parent, One of the most common issues of... Read more

Prayer

More
  • A Top 100 Most-Asked Question About the Bible for the New Year

    Many people who read the Bible don't understand what... Read more
  • teach your children to pray for others

    Teach Your Children to Pray for Others

    This study from the NIV Adventure Bible can help you... Read more
  • Scripture Engagement Practice Picture It

    Scripture Engagement Practice: Picture It

    Picture it, one of the practices found in the abide... Read more

SpeakLight

More
  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

More
  • A Top 100 Most-Asked Question About the Bible for the New Year

    Many people who read the Bible don't understand what... Read more
  • Contentment

    As humans, we are not often satisfied. That is because... Read more
  • Faith is Personal

    Right now you have the opportunity to love and worship... Read more

Topical Reading Plans

More
  • The Legacy of Studying God’s Word | NIV Verse Mapping Bibles

    Verse-mapping is a technique of studying the Bible... Read more
  • Keys to Revelation

      Key Word: The Revelation of the Coming of... Read more