Summary: This message attempts to make it clear why resurrectionof Jesus was the most important historical event of all time, and why a belief in the resurrection of Jesus is so vitally important.
1 Cor. 15:12-19 (Easter 2005) The Importance of the Resurrection
Intro: Friday I was listening to the radio and I heard a really short Easter Sermon. It lasted only about eight seconds on Paul Harvey. It went like this:
“Jesus lived a good life in a wicked world – to show us it can be done.
He died and rose again – to show us we can do that too!”
This Easter sermon will not be quite so brief as the one Paul Harvey read.
Read: 1 Cor. 15:1-23
As we read in the N.T. we come across various groups of people mentioned. Two of those groups are the Pharisees and the Saducees. One of the differences in theses two groups was their belief concerning the resurrection. The Pharisees believed in a resurrection while the Saducess did not….
Others also rejected the resurrection like Greek Philosophers & the Gnostics.
It may have been due to the influence of one of these groups that resulted in some of the Corinthians rejecting the resurrection. Paul addresses them in our passage.
The importance of whether there is or is not a resurrection can not be overly emphasized.. If there is then we will live beyond this life on the earth. If there isn’t then this life is all there is.
We come together today because of one of the most important events that has ever happened in the history of this world. Though we don’t know for sure the exact date of the event for which we are gathered today. We do know that Jesus Christ was taken up on a hill call Golgatha, and was brutally crucified. After which, His body was taken and placed in a tomb for three days. Then on that third day, the earth shook, the tomb was opened, and Jesus Christ came forth from the tomb victorious over the grave & death.
Folks, I submit to you today that the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important historical event that has ever occurred. It is more important than the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Pearl Harbor, VJ Day, the invasion of Normandy, etc., etc…..
Prop: We need to understand the importance of the Resurrection.
I. If there isn’t a resurrection then Jesus has not risen (1 Cor. 15:13, 16).
If there isn’t a resurrection from the dead, if the dead can not rise, then Jesus Himself would not even be risen from the dead.
Some people throughout history have argued that Jesus didn’t really die because he was divine. They claim that He only appeared to die.
That, of course, does not fit with the Biblical account of the crucifixion on the cross.
Friends and Foes were certain that Jesus died and testified that it was so.
All of the Apostles, Mary, the Roman soldiers, witnesses around the cross, Joseph of Aramathia, and others testified that He had indeed died.
That, of course, does not fit with the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself as we learned in our study Revelation during our morning service.
(Rev 1:17-18) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
No, of course His death and His resurrection are well attested facts of history.
This is Paul’s point. The evidence is overwhelming that there “had been” a resurrection of Jesus Christ. And of course, since He resurrected then it is certainly possible that those connected to Christ would also rise from the dead.
The facts were there for those who would seem them.
II. If there isn’t a resurrection then all preaching would be meaningless (1 Cor. 15:14).
As Paul just pointed out in 1 Cor. 15:3-4 that the death, burial & resurrection is the HEART of the gospel message.
If Jesus didn’t die, then He could not have risen from the dead.
If Jesus didn’t resurrect, then He didn’t conquer sin, death or hell.
If Jesus didn’t conquer sin, death & hell, then we have no hope to escape them…
If there isn’t any hope, then there isn’t any “good news” to proclaim or preach…
As a result, our “faith” in the person of the gospel message would be in vain (empty, void of effect, not purpose, useless).
III. If there isn’t a resurrection then many people were liars (1 Cor. 15:15).
You see there were many people who testified that Jesus died and they saw the risen Christ including Paul, the other Apostles (“we”), the 500 witnesses (v. 6) and others who were still alive and could still testify if need be.