“If Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.”1 Corinthians 15:14
I originally thought I’d start with covering the historical basis for the Bible. I had a whole plan laid out for this, until Nabeel Qureshi convinced me otherwise. In his book, “No God But One” Qureshi compares and contrasts Islam and Christianity. In doing so, he also compares the Quran and the Bible. He points out that “the primary use of the Bible is to serve as the basis of what Christians believe, not why they believe.” (112)
While the what is important, the why is our foundation and starting point.
What is the why of Christianity?
Paul answers this for us himself in his letter to the church in Corinth.
“If Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.” – 1 Corinthians 15:14 (New Living Translation)
Paul wasn’t one to pull any punches.
If Christ didn’t rise, faith in him is nothing. If he rose, it is everything.
But why is that? Why would an entire religion hinge on one event?
Why does the Resurrection Matter so Much?
C.S. Lewis made famous the argument of lord, lunatic or liar in his book Mere Christianity. Modern times has expanded this argument to include two more options to discuss: legend and guru. (Kreeft and Tacelli 166).
Basically, the argument states that Jesus made incredible claims about himself. He claimed that he was God in the flesh, co-equal with God. (For more on Jesus’ claim to be God: Read Here ) Given this claim, you must believe that Jesus was one of these five things:
- Option 1: Jesus was a a complete lunatic with delusions about being God.
- Option 2: Jesus was a skilled liar who convinced many people to believe him.
- Option 3: Jesus was a legend and never really existed in the first place.
- Option 4: Jesus was a guru. This one takes a bit more unpacking. Essentially this is the idea that Jesus a spiritual teacher, and that he was god because we are all god. In this line of thinking, when a person reaches the highest level of enlightenment, they are no longer a part of the physical world, but the spiritual only. (We’ll go more in depth with this argument and other responses another time)
- Option 5: Jesus was God.
How are these connected to the Resurrection? Options 1-4 are all disproved if the physical resurrection of Jesus took place.
- If Jesus was a lunatic, he would have stayed dead.
- If Jesus was a liar, he would have stayed dead.
- If Jesus was a legend, he never died and he never rose.
- If Jesus was an enlightened guru, he would not have been raised to a physical body.
- If Jesus is God…. well… death has no hold on Him.
The physical resurrection is the key to the Christian faith. If Jesus bodily rose from the dead, it confirms every single thing He ever said, did, supported and prophesied.
If Jesus rose bodily from the dead, Christianity is true.
So here’s the question:
Did Jesus rise from the dead?
If it is the most likely answer, based on historical evidence, that Jesus did rise from the dead, would you believe what He said about Himself?
If you’d like to learn more about the historical evidence for the resurrection, start with this series of YouTube videos. You will be absolutely amazed.
Qureshi, Nabeel. No God But One. Zondervan. 2016. pp 112.
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. The MacMillan Company. 1968. pp 56.
Kreeft, Peter and Robert K. Tacelli. Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Intervarsity Press. pp 166.
Looking forward to the next post already 🙂
Thanks! I just posted the next one about the dating of the Gospels!
The resurrection really is pivotal to the Christian faith, and I loved CS Lewis’ arguments about why what Jesus said had to be true, reasoned in a logical way. We serve a risen Savior!
Interesting thoughts here. Mere Christianity is a favorite of mine. In reading more works from C.S. Lewis, Spurgeon and Towzer I’ve really appreciated how timeless many of the arguments, questions, etc are. However, I do think there is a bit added in our current time with the addition of legend and guru.
Jesus’ resurection is the cornerstone of the Christian Faith. We sure do serve a risen Savior. Thank you for this wonderful post … 🙂
What an important topic to write about…Jesus & how His life & resurrection changed everything. Loved your points!
It’s so important to carefully examine our own faith. I think this is what Paul is inviting us to do in 1 Corinthians 15:14 – it is pointless to believe for the sake of believing! If we believe the Bible is true and accurate, why do Christians so often shy away from examining it? I found that my faith was so greatly strengthened precisely because I researched the historic evidence of Jesus, his resurrection and the historicity of the Bible!
This is good!! I have never read Mere Christianity, but I am excited to look into it, and to read the rest of this series! I’ve been more and more interested in the theory of our Faith!
I look forward to more in your series. God used Mere Christianity to persuade me from atheism to Christianity!!
The study of Christ’s resurrection has always been fascinating to me, and there is undeniable evidence to prove it. Yet, even with all the evidence it takes the Holy Spirit to convince a person to believe it.
The resurrection of Jesus really does make Christianity set apart. It was interesting to read the different perspectives.
I’m making a list of books you refer to so I can place them on my reading this. Wow!
Very good points! The resurrection of Christ is the very thing we hold dear as Christians. People will always want to attack that part of Christianity