April 19, 2015

What If?

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith. . . . If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

—  1 Corinthians 15:14, 19

In 1 Corinthians 15 the apostle Paul uses logical arguments to teach about resurrection and faith. He asks, in effect, What if the resurrection never happened? What if the Lord Jesus had not risen from the dead? What if we have fooled ourselves into believing we serve a risen Savior?

Then, in response, Paul says, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." If Christ has not risen from death, we are to be pitied because our life is without meaning. Without the resurrection, everything will come to an end, and life is a one-way journey to the cemetery. Without the resurrection, we have no future—no hope of eternal life. Our past will catch up with us, and when we die, we will stand condemned before God.

But through Christ's resurrection our sins are forgiven, we have purpose in life, and we have a future. In one of our confessions the question is asked, "How does Christ's resurrection benefit us?" The answer is this: "He has overcome death, so that he might make us share in the righteousness he obtained for us by his death. . . . By his power we too are already raised to a new life. . . . Christ's resurrection is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection."

Thank God that Christ has risen from the dead! Do you have new life in him?

Lord Jesus, thank you for the power of your resurrection. Thank you that even today we are being raised to new life. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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