The revelation of today’s reading is critical: if Jesus is not raised from the dead – if he is not alive for eternity – then we are not alive for eternity either. Our spiritual life exists in his resurrection life and the good news is Jesus’ offer of eternal life is open to you and me.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 12-15, 17-19, 20-22
Why is the resurrection important to our faith?
Some people have a hard time believing in resurrection and they hold back a part of their faith, being half-hearted in accepting Jesus and his teachings. They probably attend church on Christmas and Easter, yet they are not sure that they believe in the miracles which underlie either Christian holiday.
Here’s why the resurrection matters.
Without Christ rising from the dead we are still dead in our sins. One of the most powerful truths of all Scripture is that we were spiritually dead in our transgressions before we met Jesus (Ephesians 2:1). When we accept God’s love for us through Jesus, we become spiritually alive for eternity (John 3:16-17).
The revelation of today’s reading is critical: if Jesus is not raised from the dead – if he is not alive for eternity – then we are not alive for eternity either.
Our spiritual life exists in his resurrection life. Physical death came through one man – Adam – and every person after Adam and Eve were born as sinners whose natural consequence is death for falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Resurrection from the dead also comes through one man – Jesus – in whom we can all be made alive forever.
Without the resurrection our faith is useless and futile, as Paul writes here: we are to be pitied by all for following a lie if Jesus did not rise from the dead.
Yet he did rise. The grave is empty. He appeared to hundreds of people.
And Jesus’ offer of eternal life is open to you and me. He invites us to come and follow him, come and lay our burdens and anxieties on him, and to reason with him. Bring him your uncertainties and work them through with the Lord.
Our power and hope for the future is in Jesus – God’s gift and answer for our separation from him. He is risen indeed!