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If Jesus Really Rose…



Ben Stuart walks us through the final seven of our fifty implications of the resurrection and leads us to celebrate our risen Lord.

Key Takeaway

We have all the evidence we need to prove that the resurrection really happened. What Christ has done in our hearts and minds, giving us a future with Him and conquering death is the greatest news we could ever receive. The beneficial effects we have are because we have a cause found in Christ.

Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the problem of people wanting to just enjoy the social, emotional, and moral benefits of spirituality while denying the supernatural element of Christ. They want the experience, but what they believe isn't real. You can't enjoy the full effects of a relationship if the relationship isn't real. The effects are predicated on a cause.

In order to experience true religion, joy, peace, and hope, you need a resurrected King.

Paul shows them the essentials, the evidence, and the effects of the resurrection.

The Essentials

1 Corinthians 15:1-2.

  • The Gospel is the foundation

1 Corinthians 15:3-5.

  • Christ died for our sins. Sin is dislocation from God. The dislocation from the Author of life is the absence of life. God did not want that, so Jesus took on our sins and death so we could have life with God again.
  • Christ was buried. This was a real death with a real body that went into a real grave.
  • Christ was raised. It's objective reality: He rose. There is real life beyond the grave.
  • Christ appeared to others. He ate and visited with hundreds of people.

The Evidence

1 Corinthians 15:3.

  • Authority. This was the official message. Paul passed on to them what he had received. Everyone agreed that this is the basic message; Jesus died and rose for our sins. If you don't believe that, you don't believe the Gospel.
  • Prophesy. Paul says "according to the Scriptures" twice because it had been prophesied hundreds of times hundreds of years earlier. See Isaiah 53, Psalm 110, Psalm 8.

1 Corinthians 15:5-7.

  • Testimony. This letter was written when most of the people that Jesus appeared to were still alive. Paul tells them, "Go talk to them." If you're making up a religion, you don't latch it to verifiable history. There were hundreds to talk to.

1 Corinthians 15:8-11.

  • Personal Experience. Paul tells his story. His life had been changed. The kindness of God had made him who he is.

The Effects

1 Corinthians 15:12-13.

  • Paul is questioning how some can question their own resurrection after they die. Jesus already proved that the resurrection is real.
  • If you don't believe in the resurrection of the dead, then you don't believe in the resurrection as an institution. If you don't believe that, then you won't believe that Christ was raised. If you don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead, then all the effects can't be true. You have to have the cause to have the effects.

1 Corinthians 15:14-16.

  • If it didn't really happen, then our preaching and our faith have been in vain.
  • We would be misrepresenting God, so not only would our message be empty, it would be bad and blasphemous. If what you're saying is not true, that makes you a liar.

1 Corinthians 15:17-18.

  • If Jesus did not really rise, then you and your family are still stuck in sin.

1 Corinthians 15:19.

  • If Jesus didn't really die, then you wouldn't say to someone, "I'm happy you have something to believe in that works for you."
  • If someone is believing a lie, you pity them.

1 Corinthians 15:20.

  • But, in fact, Christ has been raised!
  • First fruits are the first fruits of the harvest. Until that point, there is uncertainty, so when you see the crop, you throw a party. The first fruits are a guarantee that the second fruits are on the way.
  • Jesus didn't just happen to beat death; He's the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep. Jesus didn't just do something; He started something. He set into motion a series of events that will bring life to us.

1 Corinthians 15:21-24.

  • What was started with Adam was reversed by Christ. Death is not the end. See 1 Corinthians 15:56-58.

If all of this is really true, then what are the implications?

If the tomb is empty...

  1.  Our preaching is not in vain for deception. It has substance and is the most substantial message of life.
  2. Your faith is not in vain. You've not wasted your life putting your hope in Jesus. He gave you evidence and testimonies so you can know that your meaning and future rest on the solid foundation of a God who died and rose. No man changed history like He did.
  3. You are not still in your sins. See Isaiah 53:6. Jesus bore the iniquity of us all.
  4. Those who have perished are alive. He's not just in our hearts and memories. If they put their hope in Jesus, death is not the end; they are very much alive.
  5. We are not to be pitied; we are to be envied. We don't believe in a silly message; we believe in a holy and good one.
  6. We will rise like Christ. He is the first fruit of what is to come. See 1 Corinthians 15:53-54.
  7. Death will die, and all will be delivered to God in victory. If you're in Christ, your story does not end in tragedy.

The empty tomb has given us a full life in Him.


"The empty tomb has given us a full life in Him."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-28
  • 1 Corinthians 15:53
  • 1 Corinthians 15:56-58
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.