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1 Cor. 15:13-14
to this sermon online.
"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.
Every Easter we gather to celebrate the single greatest event of human
history-the day Jesus rose from the dead. Evil men facilitated his death,
but a Good God raised Him from the grave. This historical event gives great
significance to our faith.
This is the pivotal issue of the Christian faith. Because Jesus rose
from the dead, there is reason for this segment in the worship service-there
is need to proclaim from the teachings of scripture, because the resurrection
is the truth that all other Christian truths are built upon. And the same
is true of your faith. Because of the resurrection, your faith is not foolishness.
The faith that brought you through your trials-the faith that sustains
you when you are tempted-the faith that is the conduit for God's grace
in your life when you need forgiveness-because of the resurrection, your
faith has tremendous worth.
Paul continues in verse 15, "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." Because Jesus
Christ rose from the dead, then all the Apostles of old and teachers of
today have credibility.
And you know the state of well-being you have because of forgiveness
you've received from God and from one another?
Because of the resurrection, it is more than a feeling-it is our reality.
Because of the resurrection, there is an afterlife and you are not still
in your sins. And all the Christians that you've admired over the years?
Because of the resurrection, you can admire them and not pity them. That's
what Paul says in the next few verses:  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 men most to be pitied.
Paul believed in the afterlife because he believed in the Resurrection.
He wrote:  But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first
fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by
a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ all shall be made alive."
After the cross, the disciples were downcast, rejected, despondent and
without hope. They were defeated and disillusioned. On Easter morning,
a few women went to the tomb carrying spices to anoint Jesus' body for
burial. Mark 16:3-7 describes what happened next: "And they were saying
to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance
of the tomb?'  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled
away, although it was extremely large.  And entering the tomb, they
saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were
amazed.  And he said to them, 'Do not be amazed; you are looking for
Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here;
behold, here is the place where they laid Him.  But go, tell His disciples
and Peter, 'He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him,
just as He said to you.'"
In that instant, everything changed. The bonds of sin were broken. The
finality of death was decimated. Now, because Jesus rose from the dead,
there was hope where there was despair, there is peace where there was
conflict and there life where there was death.
Romans 10:9 says, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,'
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be
Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead? If so, then all you must do
to be saved is to confess with your mouth that He is Lord. Will you do