Summary: What are the implications of denying the resurrection? That will be examined in this message.
What If There Was No Resurrection?
To most fair historians there is little question as to the existence of Jesus. In fact many historians will even admit that he was put to death on a Roman cross, however the most disputed point of all is the resurrection of Jesus. The reason why is because if Jesus really did rise from the dead then that has huge implication for our lives. If Jesus really did rise from the dead it elevates him above all other people who have ever lived and established Christianity as the one path to God. No wonder there is such dispute as to the historical accuracy of the resurrection.
Did Jesus really rise from the dead? People may assert they have seen a lot of dead people and they never come back to life. The resurrection defies logic and reason. Some people would argue that the record of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is not reliable. Other still may say that Jesus did not resurrect bodily from the grave, but it was a rise in the hearts of the disciples to make themselves feel better. Others have attempted to argue that the disciples were just hallucinating when they saw the resurrected Jesus; however hallucinations may rarely occur in individuals, but not in large groups of people. Some people suggest that someone may have stolen the body of Jesus and that would explain he empty tomb. One might wonder what agenda someone would have in stealing the body of Jesus? How would any potential body thief get past the Roman guards stationed at the tomb, who if they failed would have been sentenced to death? More than that the disciples died for this truth, if it was a lie and they didn’t really see Jesus resurrected would they have died and sacrificed the way they did for something they knew was not true? Others have suggested that Jesus never really die when he was on the cross, but as just unconscious and woke up three days later. This is what the Koran teaches and what the Muslims believe about the resurrection of Jesus. It seems ignorant to me to believe that after being beaten the way that Jesus was and nailed to a cross and having your side pierced that he would have survived that torture.
The question that we want to know the answer to is does our faith blind us to the evidence? I believe Jesus really did rise from the dead as the Scriptures teach and I believe there is overwhelming evidence to validate that truth. However, what if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead? What would that mean to you and me today? What would that change?
People may be able to dispute the resurrection in their minds, they may attempt to argue the reliability of the Scriptures and the accuracy of the Biblical accounts of the resurrection but the one thing that no historian, skeptic, archaeologist or scientist can answer is where is the body of Jesus?
There is not another doctrine of our faith that is so vital to us than the resurrection. Our faith stands or falls based on the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection is the most powerful evidence that we have that the Bible is true and Christianity is real, however many people walk away from hearing the story of Jesus unconvinced. Jesus’ resurrection is vital to our lives. His resurrection validated His life, teaching and ministry. His resurrection was God’s stamp of approval. His resurrection was the greatest proof of His Lordship. We see even further why the resurrection of Jesus is so hotly disputed. In a recent documentary titled, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” it is asserted that the bones of Jesus and his family have been discovered. Of course I believe that is false, but when people come up with such a statement what does that mean to us? What would it mean for someone to discredit Jesus resurrection?
Apparently, in the first century in the town of Corinth some people in the church began disputing the concept of a bodily resurrection from the dead. Paul wanted to spend some time correcting this false teaching in his letter to the Corinthians. He suggests to them that that bad doctrine of the resurrection had great implications upon them and he wanted them to follow that out to it’s end. So, what if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead?
Text: I Corinthians 15
I. The Message Would Be A Hoax
a. What Jesus Claimed
Throughout Jesus’ life he made many outrageous claims. It is these things he claimed about himself which we treasure today, but 2,000 years ago these claims created quite a stir and were difficult to accept coming from a carpenter from Nazareth. He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, to be obey with the Father, to have authority to forgive sins, to be King, to be Lord, and to be worthy of equal praise to the Father. When Jesus was put to death all his claims were in dispute. If Jesus remained in the tomb then those claims would have been absurd. The resurrection validates these claims that Jesus made for himself and further cements the truths that He preached. If the resurrection did not take place it makes Jesus a liar or at the very least great mistaken as to His origin and identity. If there is no resurrections then we lose the power and comfort from His promises, we lose the reliability of His teaching, and we lose the hope of redemption that He provided.