And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
Thoughts for Today:Of the thirteen sermons preached in the Book of Acts, eleven of them specifically mention the resurrection. In the other two, it might not have been mentioned, but it is clearly implied. So why is the resurrection so important to our faith? Following are five reasons:
1. The resurrection of Jesus makes Christianity different from all other religions because He is a real, flesh and blood person - not just a set of principles. (1 John 1:1-3: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched -- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.")
2. Forgiveness of sin is not obtained through following guidelines, but by Jesus Christ Himself. If Jesus wasn't raised from the dead, then He wouldn't have the power to save or make intercessions for us. (Hebrews 7:25: "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.")
3. The power to live a victorious life comes from Christ living in us. Without the resurrection of Christ there would be no power. (Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.")
4. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, then we could not be saved. (Ephesians 2:4-6: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.")
5. When Jesus conquered death, it removed the fear and sting for all of us. (Hebrews 2:14-15: "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil -- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.")
Faith in the current nature of Jesus' ministry is a crucial component to true Christianity -- which would be an impossibility if He were dead. Without the resurrected Jesus, our faith would be another dead religion.
Questions to Ponder:Have you become lost in the principles of Christian living? What does a resurrected Jesus, alive and living, mean to you? Are you a beneficiary of His power?