JOHN SHIRK – In First Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul talked about our situation if Christ did not rise from the dead. He said in verse 14, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
He said, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ we are to be pitied more than all men.”
Paul was living with an eternal perspective. He assures us that Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, and because of His resurrection, those who are in Christ will be made alive.
Jesus told His followers, “Because I live, you also will live.” Because Jesus lives, our failures are not fatal, our faith is not futile, and death is not final. Our labor has purpose, our soul is secure, and our future is forever in the grace of God. This is our hope when our faith is in Christ to save us from our sins.
The hope of the resurrection is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – In his speech on the day of Pentecost, Peter made a declaration that was both powerful and controversial. He said in Acts 2:32, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”
Peter called the resurrection of Jesus a fact. It would have been recognized by many witnesses that Jesus died on a cross, but not every one had seen Jesus alive. If the claim of Jesus’ resurrection had been nonsense, Jesus’ adversaries could have produced the body to indicate otherwise. However, the Bible records that the tomb was empty and the body was gone. Opponents of Jesus did not present the evidence of a body.
A rumor was circulating that the disciples stole the body. But if that were the case, would they really have become martyrs for a lie? Those followers of Jesus who claimed to see Jesus after He rose from the dead were willing to die for that claim, which is a powerful testimony of their conviction.
Here is another compelling claim of the resurrection: Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The compelling claim of the early church leaders is a lesson of faith worth remembering.