By Victor Uyanwanne
Easter affords us Christians around the world the opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on a larger scale than most of us would normally do. But apart from this, our lives should actually reflect the resurrected Christ on a daily, continuous basis.
Therefore, we should be able to say:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
…. that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4.
As I said in my previous post, “The resurrection of Christ from death is the foundation of our Christian faith, the assurance of our salvation and the hope of our eternal glory.” But here is a natural question to ask:
What if Jesus had not resurrected from the dead?
Paul addressed that issue in his first letter to the Corinthians:
12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. I Corinthians 15:12-19.
From this familiar passage, we can surmise that if Christ had not risen from the dead:
- Our preaching of the gospel would have been in vain. It would have been an exercise that has no eternal significance. All preachers would be liars, and the gospel would be a deception.
- The Christian faith itself would have been nothing. Christianity would have qualified as a dead religion, devoid of power and the life of God.
- Our sins will remain unforgiven. We would have been eternally separated from God.
- There would have been no hope of redemption and salvation for mankind. Mankind would have been lost in sin forever.
- Those that died in Christ would be lost forever. There would no assurance of Heaven and our hope of ever seeing them would be dashed.
- As Christians, it would mean that we are losers now and hereafter. It would have been a double tragedy. As Paul puts it, we would be the most miserable people on earth.
- There would be no resurrection of the dead. There would be no hope beyond the grave. Everything about life would have ended here. No reward for the righteous and no punishment for the wicked.
But now that Christ conquered the powers of hell and resurrected from death, we can be sure that:
- The preaching of the gospel is not in vain. The gospel is not a fraud. In fact, preaching gospel has become a necessity because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel” 1 Corinthians 9:16.
- The Christian faith is valuable. It is the Way to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. No other way.
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
- There is hope of redemption and salvation for every man alive. With the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, “the grace which brings salvation has appeared to all men” Titus 2:11.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13.
- There is hope for anyone that believes in Jesus Christ either in this life or in the life to come. Our future in Christ is assured.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3, NIV
- It is a proof that there will be resurrection of the dead. As Christ arose, we have a glorious hope that transcends the shores of this earth.
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1Corinthians 1:12.
Jesus arose from the dead with power and glory. Sooner or later all believers in Him will go the same way. Hallelujah!