The big claim of Christianity is that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day following His crucifixion.
That’s a pretty tall claim! Can it be supported? Disproved?
First Corinthians 15 is called the Resurrection Chapter. Paul wrote it to counter the teaching of some who asserted there is no such thing as resurrection (v. 12).
How does Paul prove his case?
He cites a half dozen instances of Jesus’ appearances following His resurrection, including one to more than 500 eyewitnesses at one time!
Paul’s list can be supplemented with additional resurrection appearances recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John at the end of their respective Gospel accounts.
Then Paul does something very interesting. He says, “What if . . .?”
If Jesus had not been raised . . . .
- The apostles’ preaching would be in vain (v. 14).
- That would make the apostles false witnesses (v. 15).
- The faith of Christians would be of no benefit to them (vv. 14, 17).
- Christians are not forgiven of their sins as they thought they were (v. 17).
- Christians who have died are lost (v. 18).
- Christians would be objects of pity, since their hope is groundless (v. 19).
And so . . . .
If Jesus’ resurrection is removed from the Christian faith, the whole thing collapses in a heap!
But if Jesus did indeed emerge alive from the tomb, His resurrection supports and validates the entire Christian faith.
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