Text: I Cor. 15: 12 – 20
Thesis: To prove that Christianity is a false and hopeless religion without the resurrection
of Jesus Christ.
1. Every aspect of one’s faith is dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus.
2. Atheists attempt to disprove God’s existence, but neither they nor anyone can answer the dilemma of the empty tomb.
3. There are 4 possible answers pertaining to the question of the empty tomb.
- The friends of Jesus stole the body.
(1) First, would they have been able to get pass the guards and to move the stone?
(2) Second, would they have been willing to die for a religion that they knew to be false?
- The enemies of Jesus stole the body.
(1) First, why would they do that?
(2) Second, would they have not presented the body of Jesus to disprove Christianity, which they hated?
- An alleged “swoon” theory is advocated by some.
(1) This theory states that Jesus only appeared to be dead, but later awoke from sleep to move the stone away and walk away unnoticed by the guards.
(2) The soldiers knew that Christ was dead, and did not break his legs (John 19: 33).
- The last and only plausible explanation is that Christ Arose!
4. We will examine the possibility of Christ not arising from the grave by considering four points.
I. If Christ had not arisen, then preaching is worthless (I Cor. 15: 14).
A. One is to preach the gospel.
1. The gospel is stated as being comprised of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15: 1-4).
2. Therefore, one aspect of the gospel is not true, and that would mean that a person is to preach a corrupt gospel.
3. The gospel is “glad tidings, good news.” What good news is it of a dead Christ?
B. Christ preached of His resurrection.
1. He said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the building of the church which would consist of His rising from the grave (Mat. 16: 18).
2. He said that the temple would be destroyed only to be rebuilt in three days (John 2: 19).
3. He preached a falsity if He is not risen.
C. Apostles and others were stated as being witnesses to the resurrected Christ (I Cor. 15: 5-8).
1. They would be false witnesses if Christ is not risen (I Cor. 15: 15).
2. Therefore, how can one be sure of anything they said or wrote?
D. The Bible itself would then becomes a false testimony.
II. If Christ had not arisen, then one’s faith is vanity (I Cor. 15: 14).
A. Your faith would then be in a false religion.
B. The word “vain” is from the Greek word, “kenos,” and it means “empty, vain, devoid of truth.” (Thayer’s pg. 343)
C. What incentive would there be for one to become a Christian?
1. The phrase, “eat, drink, and be merry,” would then be applicable to everyone.
2. Why would one submit to a standard of morality when the religion has nothing to offer that person?
D. Christ would be nothing more than a good man.
1. If Jesus is not raised then He is not the Christ.
2. He would then be a false Christ.
3. The Jews would have been right for rejecting Him.
E. The Bible would be nothing more than a good book.
III. If Christ had not arisen, then there is no remission of sins (I Cor. 15: 17).
A. We would still be under the Old Testament, and it would be impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin (Heb. 10: 1-4).
B. The prophecies of the OT pertaining to Christ are still unfulfilled.
C. Man is still lost in his sins, and he is still in need of redemption.
D. One must reject all NT teaching, and go back to the Law of Moses.
IV. If Christ had not arisen, then there is no resurrection of the dead (I Cor. 15: 13).
A. Physical death would thus be the end of it all, and one would be like Red Rover, dead all over.
B. Life would then have no purpose or meaning.
C. Life would have no hope, future, or after-life.
D. We would be nothing more than animals.
E. Is this the case?
1. Nay Verily, the tomb was found empty!
2. “And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24: 3).
3. “…Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24: 5).
4. “…they saw that the stone was rolled away…” (Mark 16: 4).
5. “He is not here: for He is risen…” (Mat. 28: 6).
6. Hallelujah, Christ Arose!
1. We have seen that without the resurrection of Jesus all would be vanity.
2. We know that the tomb was found empty.
3. Why do we live our lives many times as if Christ had not arisen?
4. He did arise, and He is coming back again. Therefore, one must obey the gospel and continue in it (I Cor. 15: 58).
5. What will you do with Jesus?