The following is from my friend, Buster Godbee. It is from his Sunday School lesson on 8 problems that we would encounter if there were no resurrection of Christ. As Easter approaches, I hope this will help you consider the importance of The Resurrection more deeply/
In Jesus’ time many of the Jewish religious leaders did not believe in the resurrection. In fact the entire sect of the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection[Matt 22:23;Act 23:8]. Even some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers called Paul a babbler when he spoke of Jesus and the resurrection [Acts 17:18]. In our time also, many religious leaders and skeptics do not believe in the resurrection. In I Cor 15 Paul provides seven (7) major problems for all people who call themselves Christian, if Christ was not raised from the dead. Finally, in Romans 10 Paul gives in a single verse the ultimate 8th problem. Therefore, we have Seven Problems - Plus One.
1 Corinthians 15; 1-19
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
In verses 1-4, we are given the definition of the Gospel--the death, burial and resurrection of Christ
In verses 5-11, we are told of the 500 plus witnesses of the resurrected Christ
In verses 12-19, we are given the 7 problems if there were no resurrection
1. Previous teaching about the gospel would be incorrect [verses 1-11].
2. Current preaching is in vain [verse 14]
3. Our Faith is in vain [verse 14]
4. All the writers of the New Testament along with all teachers and preachers that followed, would be false witnesses of God (verse 15). Even Christ would have to be considered a false witness since he spoke clearly and often about His impending death and resurrection.
5. Our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins [verse 17]
6. Those Christians who have fallen asleep [dead] have perished [verse 18]
7. We of all people are most to be pitied [verse 19]
8.The ultimate problem - One cannot be saved unless one believes in the resurrection.
Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
You may say that all this sounds pretty radical.
I would agree.
But remember, prophesy is radical;
The resurrection is radical;
The cross is radical;
So is Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!