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He Lives 
He Lives

“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen, and if Christ is not risen then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” I Corinthians 15:13-14 (NKJV)

Among the numerous issues and problems that were plaguing the church at Corinth, perhaps the greatest matter of debate was that concerning the resurrection. There were many in this great metropolitan city that did not believe in bodily resurrection and by all accounts passed off the empty tomb of Christ as something short of reality. In fact the doubt and disbelief regarding the most significant event in the history of the universe began to fester soon after Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty on resurrection morning. The soldiers who guarded the tomb were bribed into saying that the disciples came and stole the body of Jesus while they slept. “So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews to this day.” Matthew 28:15 (NKJV) If this story is to be believed why after some 2000 years has no one ever produced evidence of the “stolen” body?

Paul presents infallible proof in the opening verses of Chapter 15, that Jesus died for our sins, according to scriptures, and that He was buried and raised on the third day according to the scriptures. Paul did not give His opinion or theorize the reality of the resurrection. The fact of the matter was quite clear. The resurrection of Jesus Christ happened according to the scriptures. Isn’t it interesting that in spite of the power of the Word of God confirming the empty tomb many still choose not to believe. There is no need of any investigation, or additional research. Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth; the Author and Finisher of our faith has indeed risen just as He said. “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:7 (NKJV)

Granted there have been others who were resurrected before only to die again. Jarius’ twelve year old daughter died and was resurrected but at the appointed time she had to die again. (See Luke 8:49-53) Lazarus also died and was resurrected only to die again. (See John 11:38-43) Jesus died, was buried, resurrected, and He is now seated on the right hand of the throne of God. He was and is the only man in the history of mankind who was born, just to live, just to die, just to live again. This is the central event and theme of the gospel. Without the resurrection, the gospel of Jesus Christ would be just another volume of words on a shelf of the public library. All hope would be lost and all of our labor would be in vain. “And if Christ is not risen your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” I Corinthians 15:17 (NKJV)

As a result of the empty tomb 11 of the twelve apostles who were witnesses of the resurrection would be martyred for the sake of the gospel. Only one, the Apostle John would die a natural death. It would be difficult to fathom that they would give their lives for a myth or for an event that never occurred. Moreover, the evidence of the multitude of changed lives among those of us who believe is additional confirmation that Jesus Christ is alive and He lives forever more. In 1887 Alfred H. Ackley penned the following words in song, “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and He talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.”

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