The Resurrection—Why It Matters
What if Jesus Christ hadn’t risen from the dead? Where would that leave us? What assurance would we have about anything in life? Our confidence, thoughts about death, and our hopes for existence after this life would all be affected.
God knew Jesus’ resurrection would raise many questions in our minds; that’s why He led Paul to provide us with some answers. In 1 Corinthians 15:14, the apostle addresses the main issue: What if the resurrection didn’t really happen? He writes, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.”
This means if the resurrection hadn’t occurred, our faith would be empty and without foundation; we'd be false witnesses, spreading lies; all our efforts for the faith would be worthless; and reading Scripture and sharing the good news would be a total waste of time (1 Cor. 15:17). All Christ-followers who’d died believing they were destined for eternal life would've simply perished, their hope of heaven nothing more than a delusion (1 Cor. 15:18). Worst of all, we'd still be living in our sins (1 Cor. 15:17), still under guilt, and owing our lives as the penalty our transgressions deserved (Rom. 6:23). Paul sums it up this way: “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19).
Thankfully, our hope extends beyond this life because Jesus truly has risen from the dead. God, in His wisdom, left us undeniable evidence. For starters, the tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers, who faced imminent death if they failed to carry out orders. Though this precaution was to prevent Christ’s followers from stealing the body and falsely claiming He’d risen (Matt. 27:62-66), the tomb nevertheless ended up empty. Another indication is that of changed lives—something significant has to have taken place for Christ’s fearful disciples to become bold proclaimers of the gospel despite violent threats (John 20:19).
Most importantly, Jesus Himself promised He'd rise from the dead (Matt. 16:21). He claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30), so either He was and is the Son of the living God, or else He was a liar. The record shows, however, He never told an untruth (John 14:6). Everything He promised or predicted came about, just as He said it would, except for those prophecies that are still to come (such as His second coming). These, too, will one day occur exactly as He’s foretold, for there’s nothing false about the sinless Son of God (John 7:18).