From this week's study:
You may recall when The Discovery Channel aired the documentary, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus”. This allegedly “scientific” program claimed that a tomb and ten ossuaries (limestone coffins) found in Jerusalem belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth. Six of the coffins had inscriptions and through a “statistical study” it was determined that Jesus must have been buried there along with other members of His family. While the producers of this broadcast claimed they had no intent of attacking the Christian faith, it attempted to strike at the very heart of Christianity and the gospel message.
Consider the importance Paul places on the truth of the factual account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
14And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Corinthians 15:14-19)
Paul’s point is clear. If Jesus’ body was in this tomb in Jerusalem along with the rest of His family, then our faith is in vain and we are hopeless. In the same passage, Paul also identifies the resurrection as one of the central truths of the gospel message. In verses 3-4 he writes: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” Paul goes on to describe the appearance of Jesus before eyewitnesses, many who were still alive when Paul wrote his letter to the church at Corinth. He wrote all this to remind those early believers of the essentiality of the resurrection. As we approach this Easter Sunday, we as well should consider the importance of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus to our lives and to our faith.
Read the complete study here.