If There Had Been No Resurrection
Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.
Clarence W. Hall
By Pastor George Lehman
On this Easter Sunday I want us to read from God’s word from:
I Corinthians 15 :12- 19 – Our sermon title: If there had been no Resurrection?
I want to ask you a question before I read this scripture,
Have you ever heard of a man named Harry Houdini? Many of you have. He died in October of 1926. But his claim to fame was that he was a magician that specialized in spectacular escapes.
As a matter of fact, he was said to have laughed at locks, sneered at fetters. They said of Harry that he had the flexibility of an eel. He had the lives of a cat. They did all kinds of things to try to incarcerate him.
They would seal him in coffins. He would escape. They riveted him into a boiler. He escaped. They sowed him up in canvas bags. He escaped. They locked him in a milk can. He escaped. They sealed him in a beer barrel. He escaped. They put him in maximum-security prison. And old Harry somehow got out.
But then in October 1926, death laid his hands on Harry Houdini and they put him in a grave and he is yet to escape.
As a matter of fact, he told his wife, if there is any way out, I will find it.
If there is any way out, I’ll make contact with you and we’ll do it on the anniversary of my death.
For 10 years she kept a light burning over his portrait. At the end of 10 years, she turned out the light. Death had Harry and he could not escape.
Death laid his hands on the Lord Jesus Christ also. And death put Jesus in a rock-hollowed out tomb.
And there was a stone in the mouth of that tomb and the seal of the Roman government was placed upon that tomb.
But on the third day, Jesus Christ stirred himself. He rose from the sleep of death. And he left those grave clothes that were wrapped around him like a butterfly would forsake a cocoon.
And Jesus Christ passed through the walls of that rock- hollowed out tomb.
By the way, the stone was not rolled away to let Jesus out. It was rolled away to let the disciples in to see that Jesus had come back.
Jesus Christ is alive. He is not behind us in a tomb. He is before us on a throne.
We thank God for that. But I want to ask you a question. Suppose that had not happened. Suppose death still held Jesus like it does Harry Houdini Then what? Suppose there had been no Resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:12 -19 (NIV) – 12But 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? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More 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. 16For the dead are not raised, then Christ has not be raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Now the apostle Paul mentions a thing so unthinkable, and it’s this, suppose there had been no Resurrection.
Suppose Jesus Christ is still in that grave.
Paul says, our preaching is useless: verse 14, ”And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless* and so is our faith”
The word useless means empty, futile, with no purpose, a colossal waste of time, if there is no resurrection, you and I are wasting our time by watching this message.
I’m wasting my time by preaching and you are wasting yours by listening, we all ought to do something else.
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.”
But if you don’t believe that God raised him from the dead then your faith is foolish, and you won’t be saved.
You see, this is the difference between Jesus Christ and the other religions. They lived, they died, they are dead. Jesus lived, he died, and he rose again.
Friend, there is no need to follow a loser. Jesus has escaped death.
And the Bible said it in Romans 1:4, ”He is shown to be the son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”
How do I know he is the Son of God? How do I know that he can save me? How do I know the Bible is true? How do I know the promises of God are yes and amen in Jesus Christ?
I’ll tell you how. God brought him from the dead and that was God’s stamp of approval on all that he said and did and taught.
He was shown to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.
We do not serve a dead Saviour. A dead Saviour is nobody’s Saviour.
A little boy was in the classroom and the teacher gave this assignment, write an essay on the world’s greatest living man. Some wrote about the president. Others wrote about members of Congress. Some wrote about people in the entertainment world. Some wrote about people in the sports world. Some wrote about scientists and philosophers.
But one little boy, wrote about Jesus Christ, an essay on Jesus Christ. When the teacher received the paper she said, ”Son, that’s a nice paper, but you misunderstood the assignment. I said the world’s greatest living man.” He said, ”But teacher, he is alive.” He is alive. We don’t serve a dead Saviour.
That he died for you is not important unless he also rose from the dead, which was the stamp of approval and authenticity upon the full payment for your sins.
No resurrection, no Saviour. No Saviour, no forgiveness. No forgiveness, no justification. No justification, no cleansing. No cleansing, the penalty of your sin is upon us.
Notice 1 Corinthians 15:20a – ”But now is Christ risen from the dead…”
And because he is, preaching is profitable, faith is feasible, the disciples are dependable, sin is subdued, death is defeated, and the future is fabulous because Christ has been raised from the dead.
He has taken the sting out of sin. He has taken the gloom out of the grave. He has taken the dread out of death and he has given to us a hope that is steadfast and sure.
”Living he loved me, dying he saved me, buried he carried my sins far away, rising he justified, freely forever. One day He’s coming, oh glorious day.” Thank God that we’re no longer in our sins because we have a risen Saviour who has paid the price for our sins
Romans 8:11(NIV) – And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.
1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV) – 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.