And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. (1 Corinthians 15:14)
Running On Empty
There is one fundamental belief necessary for the child of God to live a life of fullness in the glory of God. It does not simply believe there is a God because the demons believe this and they tremble at the thought. Accepting the Bible as the divine word of God is important but this alone is not the hope that resides within the heart. Going to church services and worshiping the Lord in the authorized manner with the approved examples is vital to obedience and yet again this is not sufficient to bring the greater joy to life. Being a good person validates the character of the individual, remaining pure illustrates the devotion to righteous principles and working diligently to ward off the wiles of the devil will prove fruitful. If the child of God does not live every day with the unmovable faith that death is nothing and that eternal life exists beyond the vale; life is empty. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the crown jewel of everything a person must believe to have a full life of hope, joy, and peace.
The early disciples struggled with the concept of life after death and some denied that Jesus rose from the dead. It is extraordinary for those living within the lifespan of Jesus they could deny His existence or the many witnesses that saw Him after His death. They were not removed nearly two thousand years and told to believe in the impossible. These disciples lived in the period of the revelation of God as man with innumerable examples of the proof of His life, death and the glory of His resurrection. And yet many denied Jesus rose from the dead. Paul’s admonishing of the saints in Corinth dealt with the realities of denying the resurrection. He declared there was ample proof Jesus was seen alive after His death. More importantly there was a far-reaching consequence to denying the resurrection of the Son of God. If Christ did not rise from the dead, what was the purpose of living a life of service to a cause based upon a lie? Thousands gave their lives for a man who did not rise from the dead invalidating all the preaching that had been done and lives sacrificed for the cause of Christ. There was no value to faith. Why devote a life to a cause that had no realization of truth if Jesus did not rise from the dead? Faith would be empty and life would be worthless. Everything hinged upon whether the Christ rose from the dead or not.
More than two millennia have passed since Jesus rose from the dead and no one remains who saw Him alive. Faith is the assurance of things not seen and believing Jesus rose from the dead requires that kind of faith that accepts the impossible. It is not without question to believe a man lived a long time ago and was a good man. Accepting the fact He was unjustly put to death is also easy to admit because the story tells how that came about. What is the most denied fact in the life of Jesus is to believe He rose from the dead and lives today. There are many who deny this outright with no reservations. This requires believing in the most incredible miracle known to man. It also means that a person must accept that Jesus was God. Denying His resurrection gives man the ability to make himself a god and live in his own fashion. Satan has done his work well in convincing most men that Jesus is not the Son of God and He never rose from the dead. Why would Satan do this? Because he knows that everything hinges upon that single fact. Believe that Jesus is real but do not believe He came out of the grave is what the accuser wants us to believe.
The devil has convinced many of God’s children to live in such a way they really do not believe in the resurrection. This may be his more sinister accomplishment in impacting the hearts of the saints of God. There is a peripheral view of the resurrection of Jesus as a Christian will acknowledge they believe Jesus is risen but their life will deny the facts. Everything about living is about the here and now. The child of God spends himself fully on keeping treasures here on the earth and living for the moment. Death is feared with incredible anxiety. Uncertainty rests within the heart of the Christian as they build their faith upon the useless trinkets of life. Many wonder why their lives are so empty when they attend services, read their Bibles and pray but never really accept the fact there is life after death. Facing death is a horrible reality instead of a joyous transition. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus is not just a Biblical fact we must believe but the reality of what will happen to the soul of the child of God. If Christ is risen then there is a resurrection of the righteous. Death is not a horror but an acceptance that what is real is what is coming. What is important is not about this life but the life that is to come.
Jesus Christ arose from the dead and we will rise from the dead. Breathing our last on the dust of this earth will give us the breath of eternal life on the shores of Heaven. Faith will be vibrant and full of joy when we acknowledge that because He lives – we live. When our lives are running on empty it is because we have lost sight of the resurrection. Nothing can compare to what awaits the child of God in the eternal glory of God’s grace. Our citizenship is not upon the fading memories of a world growing dark but the image of the Son of God shining deep in our hearts. Believing in the resurrection and living with that hope will assure the heart that God loves us and we are saved. Jesus rose from dead. Thank God for His love.