1 Corinthians 15:13- 19
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no Christianity. No one has a relationship with Jesus. There is no hope for eternal life after our life here on earth is over. The Bible becomes a work of fiction. Our piety and supposed righteousness become filthy rags. Our lives become meaningless and futile. Our prayers empty, meaningless and our behavior filled with hypocrisies as we cannot practice what we preach about forgiveness, love and mercy. For thousands of years we who believe Jesus was raised from the dead have suffered persecution, torture and died in our faith in Jesus and hope for our own resurrection. The world has condemned us, laid reproach upon us, hated and feared us and then tortured us trying to get us to renounce our faith. If our hopes in Christ were limited to this life only, we should be, of all men, most to be pitied; namely, because, while others live unmolested, we are exposed to every trial and persecution, and, after all, are doomed to bitter disappointment in our most cherished hope; for all our hope of salvation, even of the soul (not merely of the body), hangs on the resurrection of Christ, without which His death would be of no avail to us (Eph 1:19, 20; 1Pe 1:3). The heathen are “without hope” (Eph 2:12; 1Th 4:13). We should be even worse, for we should be also without present enjoyment (1Co 4:9).
But Jesus is alive
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
He is not here,…. In the grave, where he was laid, and these women saw him laid: he was dead, but he is now alive; he was laid in the grave, but God would not leave him there, nor suffer him to see corruption. Jesus had told not only his disciples and other followers but, also the religious leaders that he would only lay in the grave 3 days.
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
He is risen, as he said he would. Jesus was not stolen away, as the chief priests hired the soldiers to say he was; nor removed to another place, as Mary Magdalene first thought, when she found him gone; but he was raised from the dead, by the power of his Father, and by his own power, as he had told his disciples he should be. Christ said in Galilee, that he should be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and rise again, the third day, these words were said in the presence and hearing of women as well as to the disciples; some of whom later wrote the words down. Jesus is alive today and he will come again as he said he will. It is by faith in his name and the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us as our evidence of the hope that is within us that we live.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Mary Magdalene testified that Jesus had risen. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus testified that they had seen Jesus alive but the disciples did not believe until they also saw Jesus.
We may KNOW we have eternal life
1 John 5:9-13
We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
By the testimony of two or three witnesses, we accept a story told in court to be true. God is greater than any human and his testimony about his son Jesus is trustworthy. The evidence about the death and resurrection of Jesus has been examined and found true. There is no written record from the first century after Jesus death refuting the evidence except the false testimony given by the guards at the tomb. The miracles Jesus performed while he lived are not refuted. The miracles the disciples performed after Jesus was crucified and resurrected are not refuted. Those who deny the evidence reject the truth and God who is the author of all truth.
In this world our faith is attacked on a daily basis. Unbelief assaults believer’s minds with doubts daily and we may become distracted by the cares of this world. Therefore there is a need today for constant reminders of the nature of our relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Studying God’s word daily helps us counteract the forces assaulting our minds. It helps reconfirm to us the evidence we know is true about our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus has overcome the world and we have victory over the world through him.
The apostle John, while he was in prison on the isle of Patmos, wrote his epistle to the churches in order to strengthen the faith of those who believe in Jesus. He provided his eye witness account of those things he had seen and heard while Jesus lived and after he died and rose again. He wrote these things down so that there would be written records for believers to attest to that and they may be examined. He wanted those who believe in Jesus Christ to not only have an internal hope of salvation but a sure knowledge that anyone who has the son of God has eternal life. The words in Greek interpreted into English as “have eternal life” actually means at one point in time they received it, they have it now, and they will keep it forever. John wanted all believers to be able to examine themselves in order to determine whether or not they each individually possessed eternal life. Having this assurance they would then be able to preserver in their faith as they continue for life believing in Jesus. He wrote his testimony that they would be able to continue for life exercising their faith in Him. The testimony of the apostle is evidence of his faith and we can believe it.