Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
This is the Gospel: Jesus Christ died for our sins; He was buried and rose again on the third day. But what if death had conquered—what if Jesus had stayed in the tomb?
1 Corinthians 15:12-19 gives a tragic account of our lives without Jesus—a picture of what our lives would be if there had been no Easter. Preaching would be profitless and our faith would be foolish: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 5:14).
If Christ is still in the grave, every preacher of the Gospel is wrong. If Jesus Christ is dead, our faith is also dead, because faith is no better than its subject.
Without the resurrection, the disciples would have been deceivers: “Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ...” (1 Corinthians 5:15). The disciples, who were tortured and persecuted as martyrs, would have had no gain preaching of Christ’s resurrection if He were still dead.
Adrian Rogers says, “A man may live for a lie, but not many men willingly die for a lie.”
Without Easter, sin would be sovereign: “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 5:17)!
God cannot overlook our sin; if He did, He would cease to be Holy. We have no hope of forgiveness apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, death would have dominion: “Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 5:18).
If Jesus had not beaten death once and for all, death would have the last word and ultimate dominion. But because Jesus Christ rose from the grave, there is life beyond death.
Finally, if there had been no Easter, the future would be fearful: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 5:19). Without the resurrection, we are a miserable people, with very little to look forward to.
Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus Christ is the one who walked out of that grave and took the sting out of sin. He took the dread out of death, took the gloom out of the grave, and He has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure.”
Do you know who you are in Christ? Do you believe in His death, burial and resurrection?