What if There Were No Resurrection?

The Resurrection is one of the pillars of the Christian faith. But why? Why was the resurrection so important to the early church? What if there were no resurrection? What if Jesus had not been raised back to life from the dead?

In one of his letters to the Corinthians, Paul explains why the resurrection was so important to him and, by extension, the church. Notice some of what he said in his letter to them …

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 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 (—-).

As you may have noted, in the passage above, Paul explained the importance of the resurrection by giving some disastrous consequences IF there were no resurrection. Listed below are six of the consequences that Paul identified.

1) Preaching Christ would be senseless (v.14). Christian preaching would be vain (empty and useless) … because Christian preaching should be about Christ, His life, His death and His burial, but also about His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1).

2) Faith in Christ would be useless (v.14); Christian faith would be empty and useless because the object of that faith is Christ. If Christ had not been raised from the dead, then He would not be whom He said He was. He would not have been the true Prophet that the Messiah was to be. More importantly, He would have been a liar, someone not to be trusted. His ministry would have ended in defeat.

3) All those who preached about the resurrection would be liars (v.15). All those who claimed to be witnesses to the fact of the resurrection would be liars. So, too, would the apostles and those who preached about the resurrection because they would be testifying to a resurrection that did not occur. So, too, would be any believer who did the same.

4) No one would be redeemed from sin (v.17). There would be no forgiveness for anybody’s sin. The resurrection of Jesus would mean that God had accepted His death as a suitable sacrifice on out behalf. If there were no resurrection, we could not be sure our sins had been forgiven.

5) All former believers would have perished (v.18). Christ was to be the first of those to be resurrected. If He had not been raised from the dead, then those who died, trusting in Christ, would not be resurrected either.

6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on the earth (v.19). Christians would have to be pitied above all people … since hope in Christ would be limited to this life. All the sacrifices made because of faith in Christ would have been in vain.

CONCLUSION:  There Is No Meaning For Humanity If Christ Is Not Risen

If there were no resurrection, Christians would have reason to be pitied. Not only would those who had preached a resurrection have been proved to be be liars, but so would Jesus Christ, the founder of their religion. They would still be under the death penalty for their sins and would have no hope of ever escaping that penalty.

Thankfully, Christ did rise from the dead and “has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v.20), making sure that we will follow Him in resurrection.

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