Tradition has it that one day some skeptics were discussing Christianity with Voltaire, himself the prince of skeptics. He observed, “Gentlemen, it would be easy to start a new religion to compete with Christianity. All the founder would have to do is die and then be raised from the dead.”
Voltaire was right. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is indeed the North Star of authentic Christianity. Martin Luther said, “He who would preach the gospel must go directly to preaching the resurrection of Christ. He who does not preach the resurrection is no apostle, for this is the chief part of our faith.… Everything depends on our retaining a firm hold on this article [of faith] in particular; for if this one totters and no longer counts, all the others will lose their value and validity.”
Saint Paul puts it this way: “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses to God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.… And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Cor. 15:14–19, NKJV).
The Resurrection stands at the very center of the apostolic witness. It is God’s creation power open to all who would but believe. It is our hope unto eternal life.
He is risen! The Lord is risen indeed.
Adapted from an article by Charles W. Keysor, pastor, Countryside Evangelical Covenant Church, Clearwater, Florida.1
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