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Thursday, March 5, 2009

1 Corinthians, chapter 15 part 1

What would Christ's sacrifice mean if He had not been raised from the dead? That is the question that Paul answers here in 1 Corinthians 15. The actual sacrifice was very necessary. Christ was sinless, and in order to gain salvation here needed to be a perfect, sinless sacrifice. Under the old Jewish system of sacrifices, however, there was no resurrection. If the priest sacrificed a dove as a sin offering it did not miraculously come back to life. That is part of what made these spiritual cleansings impermanent.

In Christ, however, we have victory over death. That victory comes from the fact he conquered the grave. Because he was resurrected, we can gain our own resurrection through His sacrifice. In Paul's time it may have been easier to believe in the resurrection. There were still people alive that had witnessed the event first hand. We have only 2,000 years of faith to rely on.

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 if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. – 1 Corinthians 15:14-17

What other religion offers this kind of belief. Only Christianity offers the promise of resurrection because its central figure died and lived again. Still, it is an act of faith. Essentially, if Christ did not rise from the grave our faith is meaningless anyway. If Christ did not rise, then we have no hope. That is why we must put faith in the one little hope we have.

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