Monday, April 13, 2009

Christ Has Risen from the Grave

“The same day Sadducees came to Him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked Him a question.” [Matthew 22:23]
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” [1 Corinthians 15:12]

The Christian Church believes that Jesus rose from the dead. If a pastor got up into the pulpit and said, “the resurrection story in the Bible is just that, a story, to teach us that God has risen in our hearts,” we would conclude that he is a false teacher. If a Christian said to someone asking about Christianity, “the story of the resurrection is in the Bible to teach us that God is powerful,” we would conclude that that person is severely misguided and wrong.

It’s always surprising to hear Christians deny the Resurrection, but it’s not new. The Sadducees were religious leaders in Jesus’ day and denied the resurrection. Paul was writing to the Christians in Corinth, some of whom denied the resurrection.

Some of the religious leaders and some regular Christians were maintaining that there is no resurrection—once you die, that’s it. If you deny the resurrection of all people on the Last Day, why would there be a need to believe in the Resurrection of Christ?

We would expect non-Christians to deny the resurrection. But when Christians believe and teach that there is no resurrection, we need to make clear to them that they are holding to a belief that denies eternal salvation (even as we need to with non-Christians).

The apostle Paul goes on to say: “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” [1 Corinthians 15:14]

There is no salvation in Jesus having been raised in your heart. You have no hope in the fact that God is powerful.

Our faith is in Christ. Our hope is grounded in His death and resurrection. The story is not simply a story. The truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the Gospel. That is what saves, not a notion that God is powerful. God actually conquered death in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Some maintain the resurrection of the dead and Christ’s Resurrection are not true because we can’t prove them. They’re right that we can’t prove it. But whose word do you want to go on—people who say that it’s false, or the Word of God?

When you die and are raised on the Last Day, you will know without doubt the truth of the resurrection—you will stand face to face with your Maker and Judge. Those who don’t believe in Him will be raised from the dead and judged to eternal damnation. Those who believe that Christ is their only hope from sin will be raised from the dead to eternal life.

This is why we believe as we do—we go on the Word of Christ. He said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. How He is is by dying for the sins of the world and rising from the grave.

No comments: