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Summary: This message was preached on Resurrection Day at our Sunrise Service where we also observed the Lord's Supper.

What is so important about today? What is the significance of this morning?

According to the Freedom from Religion Website: Many bible scholars and ministers--including one third of the clergy in the Church of England--reject the idea that Jesus bodily came back to life. So do 30% of so-called born-again American Christians! [1]

There were those 2,000 years ago that rejected the idea of the resurrection also:

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

If there is no resurrection, there is no hope. If there is no hope, then why are we here?

1 Corinthians 15:32 If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

We live, we die, that is all there is is. Isn’t that what evolution teaches us? We’re here by accident and there is no purpose in life. If there is no such thing as to the resurrection of the dead, Paul further explains:

1 Corinthians 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.

Key word in these verses today is the little word “IF.” If you are right and there is no resurrection of the dead, then there is nothing but doom, gloom, and despair. Why? Because Christ is not risen either. So now what?

1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

You know that is something significant. If Christ is not raised then the very heart of the Gospel is ripped out. Not only that, Paul and the Apostles, the writers of the New Testament are liars.

1 Corinthians 15:15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.

If the writers of the New Testament are liars then none of the Bible is worth the paper it is written on. Furthermore:

1 Corinthians 15:16–17 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

I was given an article the other day, an article by the late evangelist, Billy Graham. Billy was answering the question, what was more important, Jesus’ death on the cross or his resurrection from the dead? The purpose of Jesus’ death was to redeemed us from our sins, so we might have forgiveness. But on one hand, what good is forgiveness if we are still dead?. What good is forgiveness if when we die, and that is all there is? What good is forgiveness if there is no resurrection?

But The resurrection is much more than that, if God did not raise Jesus from the dead, then God rejected Jesus’ payment for our sins. If God rejected Jesus’ payment, then we still owe the debt. And the penalty, that debt is still death! We are dead in our sins!

What is being said is crucial. If Christ did not rise, then God has rejected Jesus’ payment for our sins. This also means those who have died in Christ, are still dead and still in their sins:

1 Corinthians 15:18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

No only that, our exercise in religion is completely fruitless, and a complete waste of time.

1 Corinthians 15:19 (NKJV) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Paul said we are to be pitied. Not admired for living a “good Christian life.” This is one of the most depressing verses in the Bible. ALL MEN stand condemned

But Christians are the most pitiful. Why? There are those who say that even if Christianity was false, they are a better off being a Christian. Paul would disagree. Anyone one who would say that never suffered persecution. 1st century Christians were losing their families, Jobs, homes, wealth, and even their very lives for their faith in Jesus. This is also happening today around the world. This theological issue of the resurrection of Christ is no minor issue! He is alive or Christianity is a lie! This is a watershed doctrine![2]

But here is the good news!

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

He is the firstfruits, giving validation to His statement: Because I live, you will live also (John 14:19b). The Resurrection of Jesus was God’s validation that

Jesus’ sin payment was accepted.

Romans 4:25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

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