“And if Christ be not risen. . .”

I Corinthians 15:14a

It would be life’s worst nightmare.

“If Christ be not risen.”

Who’s the most miserable person in the world?  One who’s been kidnapped or captured by a deranged man or enemy soldier, tortured and deprived of the basic necessities of life?  A prisoner serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole?  A man born blind, who’ll never see a beautiful crimson rose or a deaf man who’ll never hear his baby cooing his name?

Assuredly, these are all sad, sorrowful estates.

But, they’re not the most miserable of all.

Instead, the most miserable person in the world—yea, the one to be “most pitied”—is the one who refuses to believe that Christ has risen from the dead or somehow thinks he/she’s too sinful for the Savior to save (I Cor. 15:19).

Look at why this person is “Life’s Most Miserable Person” and lives in “Life’s Worst Nightmare:”

“All preaching is vain” (v.14a).  Every sermon ever preached or heard is little more than religious rhetoric.  Those who stand behind holy pulpits are foolish and wasting their time “if Christ be not risen.”

“All faith is vain” (vv.14b, 17b).  There is no such thing as faith; it’s simply wishful thinking and prayer is nothing more than self-talk.  There’s nothing to a “Home prepared” (Jn. 14:1-3) and foolish are those who talk of Promises and God’s Power “if Christ be not risen.”

“All believers are false witnesses of God” (v.15a).  Liars are they.  Pretenders.  Salesmen of silliness.  Holders of “pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by” be all those who talk of life everlasting “if Christ be not risen.”

“You are yet in your sins” (v.17c).  There is no forgiveness or possibility of ever being free of the guilt of sin and shame.  “Guilty as charged” is all the condemned will ever hear “if Christ be not risen.”

“Those who have died have perished” (v.18).  Do not stand at the open grave of a departed loved one or friend and say “I’ll see you later”—for such is a blatant lie “if Christ be not risen.”

But, thankfully the Story doesn’t end there.

Oh blessed conjunction:  “But.”  Oh, wonderful adverb:  “Now.”  Oh, glorious, present tense, continuous action verb:  “Is.”  Oh magnificent Hope of the Ages:  “Christ risen from the dead and become the first-fruits of them that slept” (v.20).  And, how wonderful to know “For since by man (Adam) came death, by Man (Jesus—the 2nd Adam) came also the Resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor. 15:21-22).  Hallelujah!!

Oh, dear Pilgrim, there’s no need to live in the deep darkness of hopeless despair ever again—not when the Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead!  He sets the captive free and gives sight to the blind. . .if only you’ll believe (Is. 61:1-3; Rom. 10:9-10, 13).  Trust Him.  Then, live in His Resurrection Presence and Power today in all you say and do.  Glory!!

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 31, 2010

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