The Significance of the Resurrection

I Corinthians 15:12-20

A dog sees a “Now hiring” poster outside of a computer store.
The poster reads: “Must be able to type. Must be able to program. And must be
bilingual. We are an equal opportunity employer.”

The dog takes the poster in his mouth, and walks in. The
manager spots the dog, and decides to humor it, pulling up a
chair and a computer with a word processor. “Alright, if you
want to work here, you need to first write a letter,” and
leaves the room.

30 minutes later, he comes back in, and the dog has typed out
a completely error-free letter. “Well, I’ll be. This is a smart dog.
But can he program?” he asks himself.
20 minutes pass, and the dog has made a perfectly running
website for the store.

He looks, shocked, at the dog, and finally speaks. “Look, I
know you have the qualifications, but, well… you’re a dog.”

The dog nudges the words “We are an equal opportunity employer.”
on the poster, and the manager sighs. “There’s no way you’re bilingual.”
The dog looks him in the eyes, and says, “Meow.”

Last week we looked at the first 11 verses of I Corinthians 15
where Paul reminds the believers at Corinth of the gospel he
preached to them. His focus was not just the good news, but the
death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
As we take a look at the next portion of chapter 15 we are going
to see Paul speak about the significance of the resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:12

Paul now asks a question to the believers at Corinth.
In light of the gospel that I preached to you,
which you received and in which you stand,
the gospel which saved you…
If Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,
How can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the

Greek philosophy taught that the body was evil and so most
Greeks including most people in Corinth didn’t believe in the
resurrection. They viewed their bodies as a prison and death
was actually a release from the evil prison of the earthly body.
Why would they want to be reunited with their sinful earthly
bodies? Understanding this helps us understand why Paul would
be writing this chapter of the letter.
For them to say there is no resurrection of the dead comes with
several consequences. Let’s look at the ones from the first 11
verses of the chapter.

Hundreds of People Lied

He has just finished reminding them of all the appearances
Christ made after He was crucified, died and buried. He
appeared to them in the flesh and to over 500 people at once.
If there is no resurrection, all of those people lied.

Scriptures are False

Paul mentioned that the resurrection was promised in the
Scriptures. The prophets had foretold it years before it
If there is no resurrection, the Scriptures are untrue.

Jesus Lied

Jesus predicted His death and resurrection no less than 3 times.
Jesus also told His disciples He was going to prepare a place for
them so that one day they would be together with the Father in
heaven. This speaks not only to His resurrection, but to theirs in
the future. If there is no resurrection, Jesus lied.

Paul was basically saying, if you received the gospel, you believe
in the resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead and He promised
that He would one day come back for His children and bring
them to heaven. The resurrection is essential to the gospel.

Paul continues to make his point by sharing more consequences
of denying the resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:13-19

Consequences of Denying the Resurrection

First, Paul argues that if there is no resurrection, then even
Christ was Not Raised from the dead.

You can’t pick and choose which resurrection you want to
believe. It is either true or it isn’t.
And if Christ wasn’t raised the results spiral out of control from

If Christ was not raised,
Our Preaching is in Vain
Paul dedicated his life to preaching the gospel.
He went on three missionary journeys.
He is adamant that Christ was raised from the dead.
He risked his life for the gospel. He was beaten, arrested,
shipwrecked for the gospel. If the resurrection is not true
everything Paul did was for no purpose.

If Christ was not raised
Our Faith is in Vain
Not just our preaching, but the whole basis for our faith is
worthless if Christ was not raised.
Because if Christ was not raised then we have no hope.
The resurrection is central to our faith and the gospel.

As MacArthur says “Apart from the resurrection Jesus could
not have conquered sin or death or hell, and those three
great evils would forever be man’s conquerors….If there
were no resurrection, the hall of the faithful in Hebrews 11
would instead be the hall of the foolish.
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Rahab, David, the
prophets, and all the others would have been faithful for
nothing. They would have been mocked, scourged,
imprisoned, stoned, afflicted, ill-treated, and put to death
completely in vain. All believers of all ages would have
believed for nothing, lived for nothing, and died for nothing.”
(MNTC- 1 Corinthians)

If Christ was not raised
They are False Witnesses
Paul argues that if Christ was not raised, then everything they
have believed and preached and taught was a lie. They are
spreading heresy and lies.

If Christ was not raised
Their Sins are not Forgiven
A god who is dead has no power to forgive sin.
If the tomb still had Jesus’ body in it then there is no
forgiveness of sin.
How can someone who is dead forgive sin?
They can’t.
Only God through Jesus can forgive our sins.

If Christ was not raised
Those who Died in the Faith Perished
The hope of every believer is eternal life with God in heaven.
They understand that to be absent from the body is to be
present with the Lord. If there is no resurrection, they are still
in the dirt and that means there is nothing more to this life than
our time on earth.

If Christ was not raised
Believers are to be Pitied

Spending an entire life sacrificing and living for a lie is the most
pointless life of all. Not only is there no hope for the future,
there is no help for the present life. No hope, no peace, no joy,
no future.

I Corinthians 15:20

Christ Is Risen!!

Paul then contrasts the false notion that Christ wasn’t raised, by
confirming that He has risen from the dead.

He in fact saw Him in the flesh as many others did.

The resurrection is true and Paul wants to make sure the
believers at Corinth understand how important this truth is.
It is the focal point of the faith.
Without the resurrection there is no point to following Christ.

What does it mean that Jesus is the firstfruits of those who have
fallen asleep?

To understand it we have to understand the feast of firstfruits.
They were to give the very first part of the harvest to the Lord
as a thanks for the fact that He has provided for them.

They know that there is going to be much more of a harvest in
the future. They trust God for it.

Paul compares Jesus to the firstfruits offering because He was
resurrected and His resurrection is a promise that all believers
will one day join Him and be resurrected and receive glorified


Share the Significance of the Resurrection

Our world is spiraling out of control.
Right is wrong, wrong is called right.

People need Jesus.
They need hope.
Jesus offers hope.
How will you share that hope?
Because of the resurrection we can hope in a future in heaven
with God.

Thank you Jesus for giving us that hope.
Thank you for dying on the cross and saving us from our sins.