“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21)
One morning at Panera I was talking with a man over a cup of coffee who pitied Christians. He looked at all the things that Christians gave up to follow Jesus and believed that they were missing out on life. His pity prevented him from becoming a Christian. He is not the only person that I have met who shares that opinion. Are Christians to be pitied? Are we missing out on life?
According to the Apostle Paul, Christians should be pitied by all men if and only if, the resurrection did not happen. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:19) In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lists 5 ways Christians should be pitied, if Jesus was not raised from the dead:
Our preaching is empty and worthless (v. 14), Our faith is vain and pointless (v. 14, 17), Our lives are lived against God (v. 15), Our sins are not forgiven (v. 17), and Our dead are lost forever (v. 18)
If Christ has not been raised, indeed our lives should be pitied more than all men. But thanks be to God, Christ has been raised from the dead.
That man believed Christians should be pitied, because he did not understand the power of the resurrection of Christ. That man, like many others, put all their hope in this life and they are the ones that should be most pitied, because they do not understand the living hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Since Christ has been raised, according to God’s Word in 1 Cor. 15:
Our preaching is productive and powerful (v. 14), Our Faith is purposeful and profitable (v.14, 17), Our lives honor God (v. 15), Our sins are forgiven (v. 17), Our dead are not lost (v. 18), and Our lives are safe forever (v. 19)
Beloved, we have been promised to be raised in Christ, to be made alive in Christ, and to one day fully and finally be like Christ. Let us help both sinning skeptics and struggling saints see the beauty, the power and the hope given to us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He has risen!!! He has risen indeed!!