Saturday, September 17, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

1 Corinthians 15: 12-20

Brothers and sisters:
If Christ is preached as raised from the dead,
how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?
If there is no resurrection of the dead,
then neither has Christ been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching;
empty, too, your faith.
Then we are also false witnesses to God,
because we testified against God that he raised Christ,
whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised,
and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

If Jesus did not rise from the dead then our faith is in vain. All who have gone to their graves believing in Jesus will remain there for all eternity. My soul rests joyfully for I know our faith is not in vain and that Christ did conquer death. How can I be so assured of this?

Because something happened.

The Twelve had just spent three years learning from Jesus, both publically and privately. They were his trusted friends and they pledged to follow him to his death. Yet, when the guards came the Twelve fled in fear of their own lives. They ran and hid.

Jesus underwent his Passion alone, without those so close to him. Besides John, who accompanied Mary, none of the remaining disciples could bring themselves to visit Jesus on the cross. Jesus died and was laid in the tomb. The Twelve hid.

Can you imagine what was going through their minds? The last three years wasted. Christ was not the king they thought he was. They were on the verge of giving it all up and returning to their old lives. The stories Jesus had shared with them ended up being nothing more than stories. Hooie.

And then something happened.

The Twelve became embolden. The Twelve drastically changed. The Twelve proclaimed the Good News with a vigor and zeal no one had ever seen. They went from bumbling fools that could never get anything right when they were with Jesus to leaders that could stand the test of man. Each and every one, except John, went to their own torturous death for Christ.

One has to ask why. One has to know what changed in not one but all of the Twelve. What could have possibly happened that would have caused an immediate 180 degree swing in their attitudes and abilities?

Christ rose from the dead and appeared to the twelve. They saw with their own eyes that Jesus’ promises and teachings were true. They understood that death no longer had claim on them and that they had nothing to fear for in the end Jesus was the King promised to them. They knew they would find life by giving theirs up for God’s Kingdom.

That is all the proof I need to know that Jesus lived and died so that I will be raised up on the last day if I trust in him and live my life in the way he has asked me to.

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