How Important Is the Resurrection to Christianity?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central truth of the Christian faith. Without it there is no such thing as the Christian faith.
Long ago man named Job asked the big question, that sooner or later every human being has to face.
If a person dies, will they live again? (Job 14:14).
This same question remains to this day, "Is this life all that there is? Or is there life beyond the grave? Is it possible for anyone to know the answer to this question?"
The Christian's answer to Job's question is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The Place Of The Resurrection In The New Testament
The resurrection of Christ occupies a central place in the New Testament. It is mentioned directly over one hundred times.
It Is The Focal Point Of The Christian Faith
The message of the early Christians, and the focal point of the New Testament, was stated in this simple truth by the Apostle Paul:
Jesus Christ, risen from the dead (2 Timothy 2:8).
This is the central truth of the Christian faith. The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be overemphasized. Without the resurrection there is no Christianity.
The Resurrection Was The Central Teaching Of The Apostles
The resurrection was central to the teaching and preaching in the Apostles. It was the subject of every sermon we find in the Book of Acts.
Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
The apostles proclaimed Jesus' resurrection.
They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead (Acts 4:2).
For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:31).
It Was The Substance Of Their Teaching
The substance of the preaching of the early church was the resurrection of Christ. However, many of the Jew rejected Jesus because He died on the cross. The Old Testament says.
You must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse (Deuteronomy 21:23).
Yet there were many Jews who were converted to Him.
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).
This includes a number of priests who believed in Jesus.
And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7).
The only explanation for so many Jews accepting Jesus as their Messiah was His resurrection.
The Resurrection Is The Cornerstone Of Christianity
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if in fact 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 worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
Notice how clearly Paul stated the matter - no resurrection, no Christianity.
If Jesus Had Not Been Raised, Then The Following Would Be True
According to Paul, if Christ has not been raised then the following five things would be true.
Christian preaching is empty and so in anyone's faith because the object of the faith, Christ, is not whom He said He was.
The apostles are liars for testifying to a resurrection that did not occur.
No forgiveness has been granted for anybody's sin.
Those who have died believing in Christ have no hope.
If hope in Christ is limited to this life, Christians are to be pitied above all people.
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