Implications of the Resurrection

In our first study, we examined some of the evidence for the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. This study will look at some of the implications of the resurrection, both positively and negatively.

If the Resurrection is not true, then there are several implications that even Paul saw during the early days of the church.

1. Christians who teach the resurrection are con artists teaching a fairy tale that has no life-changing effect

1 Corinthians 15:13-14 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.

I’m surprised more people aren’t appalled at churches teaching adults, teens, and kids that the resurrection is true. I’m surprised more people don’t question pastor’s motives, or sanity. If “scholars” really don’t believe that Christ was raised from the dead, then why is Easter considered a good thing? Shouldn’t it be considered a crazy day where crazy people celebrate imaginary tales of magic? Shouldn’t that be a pitiable thing?

2. We are still trapped by sin and can find no promised victory 

1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

Marital problems, laziness, pornography, anger, bitterness, loose tongue, loving money, addiction, and many other sins  can be put to death through the resurrected Jesus, but if he has not been raised, then we do not have the ability to overcome our habitual, daily sins.

3. We have no hope at funerals, because we do not know if someone can live after they die 

1 Corinthians 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

If Christ has not been raised from the dead, then we have no hope that there is life after death. Why aren’t pastors seen as coffin-chasers giving shameful hope when there is none? Why aren’t we seen as con artists looking to make a few bucks off the griefs of a deceased family?

4. If Christ is just a cushion to make Christians’ lives easier today, then he is a terrible cushion, and we deserve pity. (vv 19, 32)

1 Corinthians 15:19, 32 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. … What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

The majority of Christians in the world do not enjoy societal benefits because of their faith in Christ. American Christians still do, but that may not always be the case. Christianity is forbidden in many countries. To be a Christian in most Muslim countries would, at the very least, mean a lower social standing, and at the most, might mean death.

If Christianity is a means to benefit our life but gives no hope for the future, then why are thousands of Chinese, Iranians, Afghanis, Cambodians, Mongolians, and Laocians believing in Christ? It will mean a worse life for them, not a better life. If they have no hope of future life through the resurrected Jesus, then we should pity their decision follow Christ and ruin their life.

APPLICATIONS OF THE RESURRECTION

1. We must submit to the risen king. 

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Philippians 2:10-11 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus’ resurrection served to reinforce who he was. It proved that he has power over our most basic enemy: death.

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

One day everyone will recognize that Jesus is the risen king and give him glory, but what happens on that day will have no effect on our eternal destiny. However, today, if we trust in the risen Christ for our salvation from sins and God’s wrath, then we will be saved. Our faith in the risen Christ today does effect our eternal destiny.

2. Find true joy in eternal things. 

The historical fact of the Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that there will be life after we die. This eternal perspective radical changes the way we view this life.

1 Corinthians 15:19, 32 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. … What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

If this life is all there is, then it might be natural to live a utilitarian  or hedonistic lifestyle. If we are only mammals, then let’s indulge our instincts, as long as they do not detriment society, until the day we die. However, if this life is a mere speck compared to eternity, while still impacting eternity, then we might sacrifice slight, fleeting pleasures now for the sake of more lasting joy later.

For example, before a Christmas meal, I would not grab a cheeseburger at McDonald’s. Why? Because, while I am hungry and the cheeseburger would bring some satisfaction, I would rather be satisfied with a wholesome, tasty Christmas dinner.

Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Sin offers only fleeting pleasure. New toys bring passing joy. Another dollar only creates a deeper longer for another dollar. Everything this world offers is like saltwater to a sea-stranded survivor. It looks tasty, especially when we are thirsty, but it only make us more thirsty and damages our souls.

Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

But Jesus is compared to living water (John 4:13-15) that satisfies the soul and gives new life. An eternal perspective finds lasting joy in God rather than fleeting joy in sin and stuff. That lasting joy not only satisfies the soul today, but it holds promise of future joys and pleasures with God in heaven.

The resurrection reminds us that this life is not all there is. As we live with eternity’s values in view. we find “fullness of joy” today and the promise of greater joys in the future.