Summary: What if there is no resurrection? It means death has won and there is no life. It means darkness reigns and there is no hope. But Christ has been raised, therefore now we have God’s gift of life and hope.
[I’ve taken some points in this sermon from Rodney Buchanan’s sermon ‘Jesus, the Living Savior’ at SermonCentral.]
In 1981 there was a devastating flood in central China. During the flood an ancient pagoda collapsed at Famen Temple.
A few years later, archaeologists were digging through the rubble when they made a startling discovery. Sealed in a miniature stone casket, they found what they believed to be part of one of their religion founder’s [the Buddha’s] fingers. They brought the finger to various countries to be exhibited.
In Taiwan, it was for a while on display at a mountain-top monastery. The finger was housed in a miniature golden pagoda as tens of thousands people came to pay homage to it. They burned incense and placed flowers all around the relic.
One visitor said, “I was born more than 2,000 years after the Buddha, but I feel moved and touched to have seen the finger.” Some said they felt as though the Buddha was actually sitting in front of them.
• People can sit in front of a piece of dismembered finger, or a tooth, any part of a body and feel as though it was something special.
• Could the finger of this religious man (Buddha) help them? Could it reach out and touch them? Could it heal them? Could it raise them from the dead?
How would we react if someone claimed to have a preserved finger of Jesus?
• It would not be special. It would only mean that he is dead.
• In fact, if someone could find a finger of Jesus it would literally destroy Christianity.
The whole Christian faith rests on the fact that there is no such body to be found.
• There is no finger, no hand, and no body — because Jesus rose from the dead.
• When the women arrived at Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning, the angel said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” (Matt 28:5-6).
So we are here to celebrate this fact - the tomb is empty.
• This is not a memorial service for someone who lived 2000 years ago.
• We are here to worship Jesus, who is alive and is in our midst today.
• He is here with us today, and that makes all the difference.
What if there is no resurrection? What if Christ remains dead today?
• The Bible says, then “our preaching is useless, and so it your faith.” (v.14)
• There is nothing to preach about - since Christ who claims to be the Son of God and our Saviour, cannot even overcome death.
• Our faith then is useless. Why do you want to believe a dead man?
• Can this dead man help you today? Can he reach out and touch you, to comfort you or heal you?
What if there is no resurrection? This is serious because it concerns you today.
If there is no resurrection… it means
(1) THERE IS NO LIFE - death cannot be overcome.
Life is terminated for good.
That means no one has ever come back to life, and no one will.
• Everyone will remain dead forever. And the Bible defines that as being separated from God, forever in hell. No life.
• Death would have been the ‘terminator’ – it would be the end of Christ, and the end of every one of us.
Because if Christ had not been raised, it means He has no power over death.
• God has no power of death. Death would be the greatest force in this universe.
• We would have no hope of life beyond the grave.
• If death had conquered Jesus, it would mean death will conquer you too.
So man creates stories or theories to comfort themselves.
• People want to believe that there is life after death.
• People want to believe there is reincarnation.
• We are just bluffing ourselves and making ourselves feel good.
• No one has ever come back from the other side to tell us.
Except Jesus Christ! “Christ has been raised” – Paul used this 7 times in this chapter.
• Christ’s resurrection makes possible our own resurrection.
• He is the first-born, the firstfruits of all those who died. In order words, the rest will follow… the harvest of crop will follow, there are more to come.
• It guarantees that all those who believe Christ will be resurrected.
Everything we believe in today rest on this - for the Bible says, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor 15:14).
• This is the underpinning of the Christian faith.