What if Jesus was not raised from the dead?
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Corinthians 15:14).
All of Christianity rests on this one single truth – Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. The evidence for this event? 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus after he was raised back to life.
But what if they were wrong and Jesus was not raised from the dead? What would that mean to you?
First, your faith would be futile, useless, and empty. Apart from Jesus, faith is meaningless. He alone gives faith its effect. If he was not raised, then faith is merely a word, of no value to you or anyone else.
Next, it means that you have believed false testimony. This information was passed on from the 500 eyewitnesses, people like Peter, James and Paul, who were martyred for preaching that Christ had been raised. The next generation stood on the foundation of these apostles and delivered the same story, a story that has maintained its integrity for more than 2000 years. If the story never happened, you’ve believed a lie, and, if you are telling others that Jesus is alive, you stand as a false witness as well.
If it is a lie, then you are still dead in your sins. Jesus came that you might have life—his life. It is the Son who gives life (John 5:21). As Paul wrote, he is a “life-giving Spirit.” Apart from his resurrection, there is no eternal life.
Finally, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, you would be without hope in this world. This hope that you have is pinned to the resurrection. It is a hope that says you too will be raised with a new body, imperishable and immortal, like Jesus’s resurrection body. That hope vanishes if Jesus is not alive.
But, by the grace of God, Jesus was raised from the dead. The story is true. It means that you can say along with Paul, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The evidence is overwhelming. It means that by grace through faith, you were saved and made alive together with Christ. Your faith in Jesus is effective and powerful. It means you have believed the truth, the truth that set you free from the law of sin and death. It means you have been born-again into a living hope – a hope that will not disappoint.