Read: 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Earlier this week, Pastor Tim Keller posted this statement on his Twitter feed:
“Jesus: The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”
On Good Friday, this is an all important topic to consider because without the Resurrection Christianity is dead. Period. End of story.
That’s the matter that Paul is addressing in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians – “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15: 14, 17) And here’s the kicker – “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (v. 19).
Without the Resurrection, Christianity is pointless, hopeless and a complete waste of time. If Christ is not risen, the we should “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (v. 32). In other words, live this life as you want because there is nothing beyond our days on earth.
However, in this passage Paul is actually making his argument for the Resurrection. Paul writes, “in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (v. 20). As an eyewitness, Paul has seen the risen Christ himself.
This weekend, you’ll probably attend an Easter service. You may enjoy the music. You may appreciate the sermon. But before the weekend is over take the challenge to read 1 Corinthians 15 for yourself.