This Sunday Christians around the world will celebrate Easter as a memorial of Christ's resurrection. If Christians are correct about what happened on the first Easter morning, then the resurrection is the single most important event in human history. If true, then in this single event Christ's teachings were validated. He is the Son of God who came to earth as a sacrifice for our sins, and those who accept him by grace through faith will have eternal life. On the other hand, if the resurrection did not occur, then Christianity is a hoax and the claims of Christ were false.
According to some people today, however, whether or not the resurrection actually occurred is of little importance. Confronted with the bold truth claims of Jesus Christ—for example, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)—they try to obscure or avoid Christ's declaration by saying they simply revere him as a great moral teacher, nothing more. If archeologists unearthed Jesus' occupied tomb, it would not change their opinion of Christ at all.
Compare this mentality to that of the Apostle Paul: "...if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men..." (1 Cor. 15:17-19) Paul understood the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith. He avowed, "...if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." (1 Cor. 14:15) If all we have is this earthly existence, the Apostle affirms "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." (1 Cor. 15:32) Paul understood clearly that ideas have consequences and that what we believe determines how we behave. If we believe that Christ is who he claimed to be and that he defeated death and the grave, we must live for him—in his presence, under his authority, and for his glory. But if all we have is this earthly existence, we might as well just live for ourselves because the grave is truly our final resting place.
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