Editor's note: In submitting this article for publication, brother Erwin wrote, "In view of claims in the papers and TV, claiming to have found the remains of Jesus in a tomb in Jerusalem, I believe this article may be helpful."
The resurrection is mentioned more than 100 times in the New Testament. In fact, it is the very heart of the gospel. His death would have been without value if He had not been victorious over the tomb. His death and His resurrection were foretold by Old Testament prophets. 1 Cor. 15:3, 4. Psalm 16:10 reads, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Peter told the people on the Day of Pentecost that this scripture was fulfilled by the resurrection of Christ. Acts 2:27-31.
Without His resurrection, all preaching would be in vain. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9. The resurrection is proof of the Lordship of Jesus. Acts 2:36. If there were no resurrection, the message of the gospel is robbed of its life. The social gospel is a complete failure. Jesus assured the disciples that not even His death would prevent the establishment of the church (kingdom). Matt. 16:18, 19. He could say this because He knew He would be raised from the dead. In fact, Peter affirmed Jesus would be raised from the dead "to sit on his throne." Acts 2:30, 31.
If He were not raised, then the apostles were false witnesses. 1 Cor. 15:15. From the beginning, they testified of the resurrection of Christ. Many became upset as they preached the resurrection, but this did not deter them from preaching the truth without compromise. In fact, most of them died because they preached the resurrection of Christ. If they had known this teaching was false, why were they willing to die for it?
Paul said our faith is in vain if Jesus were not raised from the dead. Saving faith rests upon the resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:1-4. The Christian's faith in Jesus, that He is Lord and Christ, depends upon His being raised from the dead. Acts 2:32-36. There could be no faith so dead as one in an entombed Savior.
Without His resurrection, we are still in our sins. 1 Cor. 15:17. Jesus' death was essential to the removal of sins. Matt. 26:28. However, it is the resurrection of Christ that validates baptism, our appeal to God for a "good conscience." 1 Pet. 3:20, 21. It was because of His resurrection to an endless life that He was made High Priest. Heb. 7:16-25. Because of His resurrection, Jesus became our Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5), our Advocate. 1 John 2:1, 2. If He were not raised, Christians have no High Priest, no Intercessor between themselves and God. There would be no way to have our sins removed. 1 Peter 3:21, 22.
If Jesus were not raised, those who "are fallen asleep (died) in Christ are perished." 1 Cor. 15: 8. Sin came into the world because of Adam's sin. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, the grave has been conquered for all. 1 Cor. 15:21, 22. His resurrection is a pledge that we will be raised. We learn from 1 Thess. 4:13-18 that Jesus is coming again, the dead will be raised, and the righteous will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The righteous will be privileged to be with the Lord forever.
If there were no resurrection, it would be absurd to accept the responsibilities and difficulties of discipleship. In view of the resurrection and the victory which God gives through Jesus, Paul gives the following admonition, "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Cor. 15:58.
We should give greater heed to what Christ says and be on our guard against neglecting our salvation. 111 Heather Court, Scott Depot, WV 25560.
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