Today I want to look at a very interesting thought. This thought is found in 1 Corinthians 15:13–17. In this text, it says, “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
This is quite the thought to have. If Christ was not raised then we are still in our sins. Paul goes on and says in verse 19 that if our hope in Christ is only in this life then we are to be pitied above all. If there is no resurrection and Christ was just a mean, then it is true we are to be pitied because we are blindly following something that is not true. Thankfully it is true. Jesus was raised from the dead. He did not stay in the tomb. The tomb is empty.
We know this because there is evidence for it. We know that Jesus was crucified and died as Scripture records. We know this from Scripture but also non-Christian writings (Tacitus, Josephus, and others). It is a known fact that He did most all historical scholars will admit this even if they do not want to. But they must also admit that the tomb is empty. There has never been a body produced to prove it wrong, only some crazy theories that do not work.
For example the hallucination theory. It says all that saw the resurrected Jesus were hallucinating. This is foolish because mass groups do not have the same hallucination. It is impossible now and especially then. Another one is the one that is found in Scripture, that the disciples stole the body (c.f. Matt. 28:11-15). Yet this one fails too as the disciples had run when Jesus was taken as they were afraid. Also, there was a guard around the tomb that would have most certainly not allowed them entrance (Matt. 27:62-66).
Another theory is that it was an unknown tomb. This one states that the disciples did not know where the tomb was and found an empty tomb and said it was Jesus’. This fails because the women went to the tomb and helped bury Jesus and the women went to the tomb on the day He rose again (Matt. 27:57-61; 28:1-10). The last one we will discuss here says He just seemed dead. That He did not really die. That He “swooned” but came to in the tomb and got out and convinced the disciples He had been raised. This one fails because if this were true the battered and beaten badly in need of medical assistance body would not be very convincing of a resurrection but of one that needs medical aid.
Jesus was beaten badly and had a spear thrust through His side (John 19:34). He was most certainly dead. He was buried because He was dead but He rose again. It was not hallucinations, theft, swoon, or a mistaken tomb, no, it was as the Scriptures say, “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Matt. 28:6). It is because of this that we can boldly say with the apostle Paul, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). This is what we are heading into to celebrate. Let us celebrate and rejoice in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection because it is what we can have eternal life with Him when.