I used this modified cliché in a sermon delivered years ago on a college campus. My text for the message was 1 Corinthians 15, a chapter that shines with clarity on the significance of the resurrection of our Savior.
Even the most superficial reading of this chapter will convince us of one important fact—the resurrection is the historical hinge on which every eternal truth of the Christian faith either stands or falls.
Did Jesus rise from the dead? To this question there are no half-answers. Either Christ was physically raised from the dead or he was not physically raised from the dead. Another way to say it is that we as Christians carry all our eggs in one basket.
If Christ has not been raised, we are in serious trouble. Paul could not be clearer of this in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19.
– If Christ has not been raised, the preaching of the gospel is vain, powerless, and even blasphemous.
– If Christ has not been raised, the Apostolic writings of the New Testament are meaningless.
– If Christ has not been raised, our faith is worthless.
– If Christ has not been raised, we remain dead and hopelessly entangled in our sinfulness.
– If Christ has not been raised, death wins, and we become mulch.
As Charles Spurgeon said:
“If Christ be not risen, then is may preaching vain, and your faith is also vain, and you are yet in your sins, … all our visions of heaven are blasted and withered; the brightness of our hope is quenched for ever; that rock on which our trust is built, turns out to be nothing better than mere sand if the divinity of Christ be not proved. All the joy and consolation we ever had in this world, in our belief that his blood was sufficient to atone for sin, has been but a dream of fancy and a ‘figment of idle brains;’ all the communion we have ever had with him has been but an illusion and a trance, and all the hopes we have of beholding his face in glory, and of being satisfied when we awake in his likeness, are but the foulest delusions that ever cheated the hopes of man.” (sermon 258)
But what if Christ has been raised?
– If Christ has been raised, the preaching of the gospel is glorious, powerful, and provides us with an accurate, reliable, and trustworthy revelation of God.
– If Christ has been raised, the Apostolic writings of the New Testament are accurate, precious, and filled with eternal truth.
– If Christ has been raised, our personal faith is of priceless valuable.
– If Christ has been raised, we are free from sin and filled with eternal hope.
– If Christ has been raised, death has been defeated, and we await eternal life in the presence of our resurrected Savior!
This is why I love celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. We are forced to reckon with the weightiest question in the universe in a simple, matter of fact, yes/no conclusion. The resurrection is no matter of personal opinion or a matter of religious preference. Our faith is not some platitude severed from history offered to those who want a subjective psychological wholeness. The very foundation and validity of the faith is a matter of historical accuracy. Either the miracle of Christ’s resurrection didn’t happen and we are all fools, or the resurrection of Christ was accomplished and we possess freedom from sin and victory over death.
There rushes into our hearts at some time in our lives the realization that all our eternal hopes and comforts hinge on the reality of the resurrection of our Savior. We discover that all our eggs are in one basket.
Pastor: “Allelujah! Christ is risen!”
Congregation: “He is risen indeed! Allelujah!”