And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14 ESV)
The tomb is empty. Mary Magdalene speaks to the risen Jesus (John 20:14). Jesus appears to his disciples, including 500 followers at one time (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). Jesus is alive! This is the joyful good news which has been proclaimed for all humanity to hear and embrace. Jesus, the Son of God, died and rose again for our salvation.
Everything depends on the resurrection. This past week in Philosophy Class and in Bible classes we watched a video on the historicity of the resurrection (“How Do We Know That Jesus Was Raised From the Dead?”), and we examined the facts – facts which have been universally accepted by scholars and which can best be explained by the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation of (1) the burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea, (2) the discovery of the empty tomb by women followers, (3) the post-mortem appearance of Jesus on several occasions to hundreds of witnesses, and (4) the sudden proclamation by Jewish believers that Jesus was risen from the dead.
The apostle Paul tells us that everything depends on the resurrection of Jesus. If it did not happen, then Christianity is meaningless or “vain” and Christians have believed a lie. The resurrection of Jesus is that important (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)! Without the resurrection, there is no hope for anyone – no hope for forgiveness, no hope for eternal life. Indeed, without the resurrection of Jesus, life has no purpose or value beyond the present moment of living. Everything depends on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,” declares the apostle (1 Cor. 15:20 ESV). Jesus is alive! There is hope for forgiveness, hope for salvation, hope for eternal life, hope for humanity itself, because the grave has been conquered. And Jesus has been victorious! Rejoice and look up!