In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, Paul taught that Jesus’ resurrection is an essential core element of our faith:
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.
Without the resurrection, there is no Easter. Had Jesus only died on the cross and still in a tomb, then there is no good news in the gospel. If Jesus were still in the tomb, then faith in the Word of God is empty. If Jesus had not risen from the grave, then all the apostles are nothing more than imposters and falsely representing God. Without the resurrection, there is no remission of sins and our guilt remains, meaning there is no salvation. Without the resurrection, we have no hope beyond this life for eternal life. The Easter story isn’t complete without Resurrection Day.
Just what does Resurrection Day mean for us as Christians? Because Jesus did rise again, He is now ruling and reigning, seated at the right hand of God and one day He will return, resurrecting all those who have placed their faith and trust in Him. Because Jesus defeated death, Hell, and the grave, we have no need to fear death because we have the assurance of eternal life and are joint heirs with Him. His resurrection means that faith in the gospel offers forgiveness of sins. Our risen Lord gives His Spirit to each one of us to guide us into His will as we live for Him. Because of Resurrection Day we have hope now and forever.
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