Summary: How important is the empty tomb to the Christian faith? If Jesus did not rise from the dead He is a complete fraud, and Christianity is of no value whatsoever to anyone.
Dakota Community Church
April 20, 2014
Easter Sunday 2014
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
If Christ is not risen:
1.) This is a gathering of fools and liars.
if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
If Christ is not risen then Jesus is a liar, every minister in history is a liar and all of us who testify to the saving power of Jesus are liars.
If Christ is not raised then the Apostles stole the body and lied about his appearing to them raised. They all died horrible deaths in defence of that lie.
If Christ is not risen then the entire known world was transformed in a few centuries, and men continue 2000 years later risking life and limb, leaving all comfort and security to spread this lie.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
2.) Sin remains an unresolved disaster.
if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished
It should probably be pointed out here that we are all in a very real sense fools and liars.
I just read that the fool says in his heart there is no God; which of us have never uttered that sentiment? We see the wickedness of man, we watch the violence and devastation in nature, we cannot ignore the unwarranted cruelty so many suffer; life is so unfair, and we come to the fools conclusion. There is no God, how can there be?
What are we to do with our sin of doubt?
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
Which of us have not broken the ninth commandment?
Is that really such a big deal?
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”