Gilland: What if the resurrection never happened?

The most important week in the Christian calendar is here: Easter—Resurrection Sunday.

Much more than any ordinary event in history, this is one holiday to celebrate, and it is worthy of any amount of pause to meditate upon its significance. The cross of Jesus is not merely a symbol or an icon of our faith—it changed the world forever, particularly for those who belong to the Father as His dearly beloved children.

You see, Christianity wasn’t just helped by the resurrection. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, theologian J.I. Packer says, “the bottom would fall out” of our faith.

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Here is where man would be, had Jesus not left the tomb empty:

First, to quote the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

Second, there is then no hope for our rising either; we must expect to stay dead, too.  

It wasn’t enough for Jesus to teach good things. He had to die for us, to become a curse for us, and to take upon Himself the guilt of our sin.

He was willing to do that, even though He was Himself sinless. But God so loved the world, that He gave His only son for us (see John 3:16).

And then, by raising His dearly beloved son from the dead, the Father declared that the penalty of our sin, our great sin against His holiness…was paid for by an even greater Savior!

This is why Jesus is often depicted as a sacrificial lamb. But His was no ordinary sacrifice. His death was powerful enough to cover the sins of the world.  

In the first century church, believers in Jesus would greet each other in a very special way: ”He is risen!” one would say. ‘He is risen indeed” would be the answer from the other. Some modern Christians still use this greeting on this most special of all days.

Because He lives, our faith is secure. The bottom won’t fall out!

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Ariel Hermann