In the most recent days and weeks, all of us have been affected by the Corona Virus. Some, in small ways, have been inconvenienced and have experienced disruptions of our daily routine. For some, the effect has been in a much more drastic and devastating way. We hear of the multitudes of patients suffering from the virus. Thousands have already died. Thousands today are being diagnosed as having the disease. Families are separated from one another. Businesses are closing. Some will close for good due to the effects of this pandemic.
What could be worse than the events of these past weeks? Illness, death, lack of medical equipment and supplies? These are life and death situations. What could possibly be worse?
Well, there is something which would be worse. Not just for some people, but for all people, in every country in the world; no matter at what point in history they lived. You may think nothing could be worse. But there is something worse. Here it is.
Look at 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. The answer is found there.
“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 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.”
You will notice some phrases in the Scripture above have been underlined. They tell us what will be worse than COVID-19.
If there is no resurrection from the dead, that is the worst thing that could happen to all of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. If there is no resurrection, there is no hope at all for us. There is no hope for life here and now and no hope for Eternal Life.
Hear what Paul says as he pens these words to the church in Corinth: If there is no resurrection from the dead, then what? What is the outcome? How would this affect us?
1.Preaching is useless
2.Faith is futile
3.Sin is in control
4.Jesus Christ is still dead
The expected outcome of preaching is that people hear the Word of God. And then, to do the Word of God. If we hear, but do not do. Preaching is nothing if there is no resurrection from the dead.
If there is no resurrection from the dead, and if Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile – without purpose. Our faith must make a difference in our lives. In what we do, in how we live, and in our relationships with one another. All those are an outcome of our faith. If what we do and how we live, and how we relate to others, how we give back to the Lord are not reflective of our faith, it is a sign that our faith is weak and we don’t trust God to care for us in the future.
Here is what faith says, “I not only believe in the Lord, but I also trust the Lord to take care of in every aspect of my life. I know He has in the past, and I am confident He will in the future.” That is living in Faith. But, if there is no resurrection from the dead; if Christ is not raised, even great faith means nothing.
If there is no resurrection, sin is in control. 1 Corinthians 15; 17 – “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” Sin would still control our lives. For most of us, I think, some days may seem like sin does control our lives. All of us are plagued with some kind of sin. What is that which hounds you? I’m not asking for confession here. Just reflect on that, and know that whatever that sin or transgression is, it means nothing if there is no resurrection from the dead.
A singing group called The Resurrection was scheduled to sing at a church. When a massive snowstorm hit the town, the event was canceled. The preacher changed the sign outside to read, “The Resurrection is postponed.”
What if the resurrection of Christ was postponed? Or worse, what if there was no resurrection?
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. If there is no resurrection from the dead, then everyone who has passed away is dead and gone, and even Christ is dead and gone.
But – all of that said, there is GOOD NEWS!!! 1 Corinthians 15:20 – “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
And, Matthew 28:5-6 “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.’”
This tells us that the resurrection of Jesus is the most important truth we hold on to as His followers. It also tells us the He is the Author and finisher of our faith. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too will be raised to be with Him in eternity. There is nothing better to look forward to than that day.