“Without the belief in the resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men. Even had they continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, His crucifixion would have silenced any hopes of His being the Messiah. The cross would have remained the sad and shameful end of His career. The origin of Christianity therefore hinges on the belief of the early disciples that God raised Jesus from the dead.” (William Lane Craig)
Here is Paul’s rhetorical argument: “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised” (1 Corinthians 15:13–16).
Those who claimed to be “prophets” on whom other religions are based have all died and never been seen again. Even their followers have never testified to seeing them again. The witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection and those who saw Him alive after His resurrection are in the hundreds.
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (15:20). Paul takes this point of resurrection a step further; “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (15:22). He brings this wonderful truth of resurrection right down to you and me. Those who belong to Christ will also be resurrected. “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). Do you believe this?
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