Summary: Without the resurrection, nothing about Christianity makes sense. But with the resurrection, Christianity is the only thing that makes sense of life.
I stand before you today, on this the holiest day of the Christian year, to declare that the Christian religion is utter nonsense. A huge mass of inconsistencies; a conglomeration of all that is absurd, ridiculous, incomprehensible, contradictory, unbelievable, incredible, and patently false. Allow me to highlight just a few of the ridiculous statements made by its founder, Jesus of Nazareth:
"Blessed are you who are poor . . . . Blessed are you who hunger . . . . Blessed are you who weep . . . . Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man." -- Luke 6:20-22 (quickview)  (NIV)
Not only that, but the followers of Jesus behave in ways that make no sense at all:
"[The religious authorities] called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." -- Acts 5:40-42 (quickview)  (NIV)
This kind of behavior was not unusual. Over the centuries many Christians have been tortured and killed, some even torn to pieces by wild animals, simply for refusing to renounce their faith. Even today, in many parts of the world, Christians are routinely persecuted and killed. What sense does that make? What good does it do to maintain your religious beliefs if they are going to get you killed? Wouldn’t it be better to change religions and live? How can you do anyone any good if you’re dead?
Only the resurrection can make sense of these teachings and this kind of behavior. Without the resurrection nothing about Christianity makes sense.
· Before the resurrection, Jesus’ own disciples didn’t understand Him.
This is a common thread throughout the gospels; the twelve disciples, who were with Jesus for three years, who listened to his teaching, who observed his miracles, who watched his life day in and day out - it is the consistent witness of the New Testament that prior to the resurrection these twelve men had only a very hazy idea of who Jesus was and what He was doing. They are continually misunderstanding His actions, misinterpreting His teaching, asking questions which appear to us to be incredibly dense and dull-witted.