In 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8, Paul proclaims, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”
The Apostle Paul, former persecutor of Christians, declared the truth of Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His appearances to numerous eyewitnesses, including Paul. In the same passage in verse 17, Paul declares, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
Do you hear that? If Jesus lived and died, but there was no resurrection from the dead, there is no Christianity. We are believers because we believe Christ, Savior and Messiah, conquered death, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, just like the first generation of Christ followers believed! With His resurrection, God confirmed Jesus’s sacrificial death atoned for our sins and we can receive His forgiveness. The resurrection of Christ testifies to the fact that Jesus defeated death, for Himself and for all who believe! His resurrection assures our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).
While that would most certainly be enough, even better is the promise in Ephesians 1:18-21, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
May we find great comfort, as we face the division and hardships of this world, in knowing the mighty power of His resurrection and the new life we have in Him, now and for all eternity.
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