If Jesus Didn’t Rise From the Dead, the Christian Faith is Empty and Pitiful

“If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” -Paul the Apostle

Brian Tubbs

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Today is Easter Sunday 2024. It’s a great time to reflect on the central claim of Christianity, namely that Jesus of Nazareth — Jesus the Christ — rose from the dead.

There are some professing Christians who deny or downplay the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The best that can be said for that approach is that it’s a tragic mistake. It’s certainly not the approach that Paul the Apostle took.

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul declares the resurrection to be fundamental to the gospel.

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. (I Corinthians 15:1–8, NKJV)

A few verses later, he stakes our hope for life after death and the very credibility of Christianity itself on the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

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? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 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. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…

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