2001-06-29 - Resurrection
Basic Christian Beliefs, Part 4
Many of us repeat the words every week at church when we say The Apostles' Creed, and we have become so accustomed to them that we may no longer grasp the miracle involved:
"I believe in Jesus Christ...Who...rose again from the dead."
There have been many "great men" (and women) throughout history - wise, courageous men who have made worthy contributions to the world. We have had (among many others) Martin Luther, John Calvin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi and Bonhoeffer. But only one of them rose from the dead. If Christ had remained "dead," there would be no Christian faith. Christ's resurrection, and the future ones of His followers, are at the heart of the Gospel. If there is no life after this Earthly life, there is no reason to be "saved." The Apostle Paul worded it more strongly:
1 Corinthians 15:16-18 (NASB) For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
But our faith is not worthless, and we are not still in our sins. Christ did not remain in the grave, and through belief in Him as our Savior, we also will be resurrected.
1 Corinthians 15:19-21 (NASB) If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
Christ conquered death for us. Even though we will die physically (unless Jesus returns first), we who accept Christ as Savior will live forever. This belief in the resurrection is particularly comforting when we go through painful struggles here on Earth. No matter what we have to face, the difficulties pale in comparison with the joy of spending eternity with God in Heaven. And we can be assured of that future because of Jesus' resurrection.