If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
—1 Corinthians 15:19
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is answering the Corinthians’ questions about the resurrection. And in verse 19, he comes to the climax of his reasoning. He says that if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then our lives are miserable. “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
If Jesus did not rise from the dead—if His body is still in the tomb—then it means that all of those sacrifices you’ve made as a Christian, all that money you’ve invested in God’s work, all those times you’ve said no to pleasurable temptations, all that time you’ve spent going to church and reading the Bible when you didn’t feel like it are useless. Those times that you shared your faith with somebody when you were scared to death to do so, or when you served other people in Jesus’ name. All of that was meaningless. It was worthless. The Bible says if there is no resurrection, then we as Christians are the most miserable people in the world. We are to be pitied more than any other people because we have based our whole life on a lie.
But then in 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul says, “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” Jesus is the first fruits of those who will rise again with him.
The reason the resurrection of Jesus Christ matters is that it is the foundation not only of our faith but also of our eternity.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “If Christ Has Not Been Raised,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.