And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. —1 Corinthians 15:14-17
Is Our Faith Useless?
It has been argued by some that after the crucifixion, Jesus’ body was stolen from the tomb and removed to another burial place so that it could be claimed that He was resurrected.
So, it is said, Jesus was not resurrected, and that it is irrelevant, because He was an important prophet and a good teacher, and that He should be respected for His preaching and teaching.
That is a far cry from what the scriptures say. Christians are those who believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from death on the third day after the crucifixion, ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God; that He is the Messiah, the Son of God and part of the trinity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Can someone be a Christian if he doesn’t believe that? No!
Think about it. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then He is not the Son of God, He could not redeem our sins and our faith is useless. But, as Christians, we proclaim that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, that He took our sins on Him and redeemed us, offering us salvation so that when our physical bodies die, if we believe in Him, our new spiritual bodies will live with Him forever. Were that not true, then there would absolutely be no reason to celebrate Easter, as we are prepared to do in three days.
If some of what the Bible tells us is not true, then none of it can be trusted. But we believe and we celebrate what the Bible tells us: Jesus, as fully human, died on the cross; and as fully God, forgave our sins and redeemed us so that we might have salvation, and was resurrected, to live with the Father in heaven, eventually to return and rule the earth. We believe in a resurrected Christ!
The Bible, in 1 Corinthians, 5-8, says that after His death on the cross, “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 [at the time], 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 (Paul).
So, Jesus lives! And Sunday we will praise and celebrate the Living Christ!