What If Jesus Was Not Raised from the Dead?

What If Jesus Was Not Raised from the Dead?Text: 1 Corinthians 15:14

The “Christian” world uses the Easter holiday to remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is certainly good to remember the resurrection, yet the observance of “Easter” as a religious holy day is nowhere authorized in the Bible. But while people’s minds are turned to the resurrection, we can take advantage of opportunities to discuss it. What if Jesus was not raised from the dead? Our faith would be vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). But why?

Jesus Would Have Been an Imposter

  • Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (John 5:17-18)
  • The resurrection declared Jesus to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4)
  • No resurrection would have declared that He was not the Son of God (Matthew 27:63-64) – instead, a deceiver

We Would Not Know Who Jesus Was

  • The rulers wanted Jesus to be forgotten (Acts 4:18; 5:28)
  • The apostles could not stop speaking because of what they saw (Acts 4:19-20)
  • Other “messiahs” had come to nothing (Acts 5:36-37) – this would have happened to Jesus too

The Disciples Would Have Gone Back to Their Normal Lives

  • Initially they did this (John 20:9-10)
  • They were afraid to be known as Jesus’ disciples (John 20:19)
  • If they spoke of Jesus’ resurrection, they would have been false witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:15) – would not have been worth it

Jerusalem Still Would Have Been Destroyed

  • The rulers thought Jesus’ death would save the nation (John 11:47-50, 53)
  • Yet God was preserving them for Jesus’ sake (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 4:4) – to fulfill the promise to Abraham
  • Take away God’s special providence and there would be no reason for Rome to tolerate/spare them

The Old Covenant Would Have Passed without the New One to Replace It

  • The old law was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14)
  • The old law pointed to Christ (Galatians 3:24; Luke 24:44)
  • Without the resurrection, His “will” would have been without authority (Acts 2:32-36; Matthew 28:18)

There Would Be No Hope

  • Our faith would be worthless (1 Corinthians 15:17) – no point in believing; no salvation by faith
  • We would still be in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17) – despite the crucifixion/sacrifice of Christ
  • Our only hope would be in this life (1 Corinthians 15:18-19) – temporary, limited, vain


  • The resurrection of Christ is not just a great story of the Bible – it is fundamental to our faith
  • If Jesus was not raised from the dead, our faith is vain (1 Corinthians 15:14)
  • We have hope through Him – we must now faithfully obey Him

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