We need only turn to the “Resurrection Chapter” to answer this most question. Of course, I’m speaking of 1st Corinthians chapter 15. I will quote a few verses and we will see that without the resurrection there would be NO SALVATION (from the penalty of our sins) and NO HOPE (of a future resurrection for us and eternal bliss in heaven).

In verses 1-4 the apostle Paul says, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, BY WHICH ALSO YOU ARE SAVED if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures, and that He was BURIED, and that He ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY according to the Scriptures. We often, when presenting the gospel, emphasize the DEATH OF CHRIST on the cross, but that’s only “half of the gospel.” The RESURRECTION OF CHRIST is the “other half,” for the resurrection proves that God was satisfied with the work of atonement that Jesus accomplished on the cross. When Jesus had exhausted God’s judgment for our sins He cried out in victory, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Three days later God the Father raised His Son from the grave (Ephesians 1:19-21) and one has said that this was God’s “Amen” to His Son’s “Finished Work.”

What if Christ had not risen from the dead? We have the answer in verses 14 & 17, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and YOUR FAITH IS ALSO EMPTY…And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; YOU ARE STILL IN YOUR SINS!” Again, the resurrection of Christ was God’s “stamp of approval” on the work that His Son did to “put away our sin” (see Hebrews 9:26). So, if Christ was NOT RAISED, our faith would be “meaningless,” for we would be believing in something that had “no results.” We would still be “in our sins,” which means we would still be facing the penalty for those sins (DEATH and JUDGMENT…see Romans 6:23a and Hebrews 9:27). Yet Christ WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD and thus our sins are gone and we are declared righteous (justified) in God’s sight! In Romans chapter 4 God goes into some detail to teach us that the believer in Christ is “justified by faith” (He uses Abraham’s justification as a prime example) and the chapter closes with these glorious words, “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it (righteousness) was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who RAISED UP JESUS OUR LORD FROM THE DEAD, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was RAISED BECAUSE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION.”

We would also be “without hope” if Christ was not risen from the dead. We see this clearly in verses 18-19, “Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable.” Without the resurrection those who had died “believing in Christ” would be lost for eternity and believers who are still alive are deceived and are to be pitied. Imagine living your life in view of the prospect of eternal bliss in heaven with Christ only to find out when you breathe your last breath that it was a lie. Think of the suffering you were willing to endure for Christ and the sacrifice (of time, talents, energy and money) you made to win others to Christ, and yet it would all be “for nothing.” We can praise God (with all our hearts!) for the next verse, “But now Christ IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Christ did indeed rise from the dead and thus “our HOPE is intact!” His resurrection is called the “firstfruits” because it is the “pledge” and “foretaste” of our resurrection. Our future resurrection is declared in verses 21-23, “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST ALL SHALL BE MADE ALIVE. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING.” Praise be to God for this “blessed hope” (see Romans 8:18-25; Hebrews 6:18-20; 9:28; and Philippians 3:20-21).  (472.3)  (DO)