Monday, 9 March 2015
Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 1 Corinthians 15:15
Not only would the preaching of the apostles be found empty, which would in turn mean that the faith of those who heard and believed be found empty, but moreover it would demonstrate something even deeper and more sinister – that the apostles “are found false witnesses of God.” The word for “found” implies “proven to be.” It would not be a mistake in their preaching and teaching, but rather a proof-positive that there was an intentional hand of deceit involved. Why? Because Paul has already claimed in the preceding verses that all of the apostles had seen the risen Christ.
Thus, should someone have checked his story (for example, by searching out some of the 500 mentioned in verse 6), and determined they were lying, then it would be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had “testified of God that He was raised up, whom He did not raise up.” Imagine the severity of the charge! This isn’t just a lie about who ate the cake that was being saved for dessert. Rather, this would be a lie about the truth of God himself. The severity of the charge would be against not just Paul, but all of the apostles. It would show an intricate conspiracy that went to establish the heretical cult-worship of a false god.
This would be punishable by death if proven true, and it would also bring about the highest disgrace upon the name they were trying to exalt. Everything about the matter would be exposed and then soon forgotten by the world, leaving nothing but a legacy of miscreants bringing dishonor upon the true God they claimed to serve.
All of this is tied up in the notion of what Paul is showing “if in fact the dead do not rise.” Everything about the Christian faith, and every person who has given life or limb for it, has its basis in the resurrection of Christ. Without that event, it would be nothing but a hopeless system based on an intricately detailed web of lies.
Life application: If you do not believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, your hope of eternal life is in vain and you should well-question your salvation. Calling on a dead Lord is about as stupid as driving a large nail into your forehead.
Lord God, if the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, then it is the most intricately woven web of lies ever constructed. Over 40 prophets, writing over a 1500-year period would have had to have jointly conspired together to falsify the record of Christ. The other innumerable witnesses recorded in the Bible would have been involved in the lie too. And after that, 2000 years of faithful scholars would also be involved in hiding the truth of what would otherwise be so easily proven false. It is too far-fetched to even consider! Rather, I am as certain about the resurrection of my Lord as I am about anything I know. I place my trust, my hope, and my eternal soul in His capable hands. Thank You for the surety of my faith! Amen.