"If Christ Be Not Raised …"

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is not only a historical fact, but it is the spiritual foundation of the Christian faith. Without Christ’s resurrection, we are still in our sins and could be legitimately classified as fools before the world (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). In 1918, Dr. R. A. Torrey aptly described the important place the resurrection played in the life and teaching of the apostles of the early church. Consider his words: “The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was the central fact in the testimony and preaching of the apostles. When it became necessary to choose a new apostle to take the place of Judas Iscariot, he was chosen to be a witness with the other eleven of the resurrection of Christ (Acts 1:22). Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost centers in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. He first proves the fact of His resurrection and then witnesses to that fact, and then draws his definite conclusions from that fact. In every one of his recorded sermons he rang the changes on the resurrection of Christ from the dead. The apostle Paul did the same in all his sermons.… In accepting Christianity one does not accept a mere theological system that men have thought out, he accepts facts that are scientifically demonstrated. The Gospel is not theory, but facts; not man’s opinion, but God’s facts. Gospel means good news, and the good news is simply the news of two great facts: first, that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,’ second, that He ‘rose again the third day’ (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Given those two facts, which are absolutely and immovably established facts of history, the whole Christian system of faith and doctrine naturally and necessarily follows.” — Matt Costella