Mark records Jesus saying,

"But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee."

In John 10:17-18 we find Jesus saying these words:

"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

The angel who was at the tomb where the women came on the first day of the week said this in Matthew 28:6,

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

These verse and many more give proof that Jesus spoke much about His resurrection and if Christ be not raised, then that would make Jesus a liar. And you know what? If He lied about His resurrection, than we couldn’t trust anything else that He said.

#2) If Christ be not Raised, Then we have an incomplete gospel:

Look again at I Corinthians 15:14,

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain."

Paul told us what the gospel was in verses 3 & 4, it is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It has three parts to it and so Paul is saying that if you take away the final part about the resurrection, then we are wasting our time preaching. The word Gospel means "good news." But if Christ be not raised, then we are left only with sad news and not good news.

Story:

D. L. Moody, the great evangelist of the nineteenth century, assigned some ministerial students to conduct evangelistic tent meetings throughout the city of Chicago. The students were to preach nightly sermons as a means of winning souls for Christ and also to practice their preaching. Dr. Moody personally showed up one night unannounced at one of the meeting places to hear one of his fledgling young ministers preach the gospel. The young man did quite well expounding on the death of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. At the close of the service, he announced that everyone should come back the next night when he would "preach on the resurrection of Christ."

After the people left, Moody said, "Young man, you will not be back tomorrow night! Many of these people will not be back tomorrow night and consequently have only heard half the gospel!"

Romans 4:23-25 says talking about Abraham’s faith,

"Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."

Again what Paul is saying, yes Christ died for our offences or our sins, but the other half of the story is just as important, "He was raised for our justification."

We need to preach the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus!

If Christ be not raised, then we Jesus is a liar and we have and incomplete gospel.

One Bible commentator put it this way,

If it be asked how Christ’s resurrection contributes to our acceptance with God, we may answer,

(1.) It rendered his work complete. His death would have been unavailing, his work would have been imperfect, if he had not been raised up from the dead. He submitted to death as a sacrifice, and it was needful that he should rise, and thus conquer death and subdue our enemies, that the work which he had undertaken might be complete.

(2.) His resurrection was a proof that his work was accepted by the Father. What he had done, in order that sinners might be saved, was approved by God.

(3.) His resurrection is the main-spring of all out hopes, and of all our efforts to be saved. Life and immortality are thus brought to light. God "hath begotten us again to a lively hope, (a living, active, real hope) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1Pe 1:3. Thus the fact that he was raised becomes the ground of hope that we shall be raised and accepted of God.

If Christ be not raised, we have an incomplete gospel.

#3) If Christ be not raised our Faith is Groundless:

Look at I Corinthians 15:14,

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain."

Look down at verse 17,

"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."

Faith in a dead Savior is both preposterous and pathetic.

Think about this:

If you were being chased by a madman, and you had the choice of running for help to either a house full of people or a cemetery, where would you run? I think we would all run to the house full of people. Why? Because the house is filled with living people who could help while the cemetery is filled with dead bodies which can’t do anything.

If Christ be not raised, then He is still dead and He has no power to save us. Our faith is vain and we are wasting our time here today. Everything that we were taught is a lie and everything that we are trusting in is empty, false and untrue.

And that leads me to my next point.

#4) If Christ be not raised, We are spreading a lie:

Look with me at I Corinthians 15:15,

"Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not."

The things that believers have been teaching for 2,000 years would be all lies if Christ was not raised up from the dead. Paul said that we are false witnesses of God if Christ be not raised. We are the worst of all liars because we have deceived people into believing something that was not true!

Let’s recap. If Christ be not raised, Jesus would be a liar, we would have an incomplete Gospel, our faith would be groundless or in vain, we would be spreading a lie and

#5) If Christ be not raised, we would have no hope for the future:

Look at I Corinthians 15:17-18,

"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."

Christ’s resurrection is a guarantee of the future resurrection of His people; so if Christ is not risen then this guarantee is worthless.

In the epistle to the Thessalonians Paul wrote to some bereaved Christians who had lost relatives and friends. In I Thessalonians 4:13-14 Paul said,

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

Paul was saying that if Jesus rose up from the grave, then those who are asleep or dead in Christ will also rise from the grave. He then closes with words of consolation in verse 18 where he says,

"Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

It was Paul who also said "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

If Christ be not raised, there is no comfort and there is not hope for the future. No heaven, no reunion with those who have died before us, no hope.

And lastly,

#6) If Christ be not raised, we suffer for nothing:

Look at I Corinthians 15:19,

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

Here is how Alan Redpath paraphrases this passage:

"If Christ is not risen, then our faith is empty, our preaching useless, and he has failed to deal with sin at all. If he has not been raised from the tomb, we are still in our sins and all his promises are absolutely untrue. He is a fraud, an imposter, and his remains are buried somewhere in Palestine today. There is no hope beyond the grave for anybody, and those who have died professing faith in him are just left there forever."

When Paul says if Christ is not risen then we are "of all men most miserable," he means that of all the people in the world, Christians are the ones who deserve the most pity.

If Christ is not risen, why bother to go to church? You would be better off somewhere else.

If Christ is not risen, why bother to put money in the offering plate? You’re only giving to a lost cause.

If Christ is not risen, why bother to serve Him? You’re only wasting your time.

If Christ is not risen, why tell others about Him? You might as well save your breath.

Thomas Jefferson, who was a great man, nevertheless could not accept the miraculous elements in Scripture. He edited his own special version of the Bible in which all references to the supernatural were deleted. Jefferson, in editing the Gospels, confined himself solely to the moral teachings of Jesus. The closing words of Jefferson’s Bible are these: "There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulchre and departed." That was the end.

But thank God that is not the way the story really ends!

-Christ was telling the truth when He predicted He would rise from the dead. He is the Son of God.

-The gospel really is complete and really is good news. It really is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."

-Our faith is grounded in a living Savior who can save every person from sin, death, and hell.

-When we share the good news of Jesus Christ, we are spreading the truth, and not a lie.

-We have the sure expectation of a bodily resurrection. Our bodies will not stay in the grave; we will rise again as Christ did.

-And we are not of "of all men most miserable." We have every reason to be the happiest people on earth.

Look at I Corinthians 15:51-55,

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

Sigmund Freud, the founder of modern psychiatry, wrote: "And finally there is the painful riddle of death, for which no remedy at all has yet been found, nor probably ever will be!"

Not so, Christians have victory in death and over death because of the victory of Jesus Christ in His own resurrection. Jesus said, "Because I live, ye shall live also"

Story:

Every year thousands of people climb to a mountaintop in the Italian Alps, there they pass what is known as the "stations of the cross" and end up at a stand by an outdoor crucifix. One tourist noticed a little trail that led beyond the crucifix. He fought through the rough thicket and, to his surprise, came upon another shrine, a shrine that symbolized the empty tomb. It was neglected and unkempt. The brush had grown up all around it. Almost everyone had gone as far as the cross, but there they stopped.

Far too many have gotten to the cross and have known the despair and the heartbreak. Far too few have moved beyond the cross to find the real message of the resurrection.

No Jesus did not lie, and yes we do have a complete gospel, our faith is not in vain, we are not spreading a lie, we have a blessed hope, and we will be raised someday to spend an eternity with Him in heaven. We can live a victorious Christian life because of the victory He had over death and hell.

If you’re hear today and you never trusted Christ as Savior, you need to come and be saved and have the assurance of eternal life through forgiveness of sins by faith in Christ.

Whatever the need is this morning, you come.

You may have a need to come and rededicate yourself to the Lord, then you come as well as we sing.