“For if Christ has not been raised we might as well sing with the world, ‘let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’ Well, Paul has listed all these things which come tumbling down if there is no resurrection of the dead.
This is almost become like a horror flick. Each doctrine that fell was terrifying like a horrible nightmare that just wouldn’t end. However, this nightmare does not go on, for in verse twenty, Paul wakes us up ‘But indeed Christ has been raised from the dead.’ Like the relief you feel when you realize that your nightmare was a dream, so Paul relieves us with the truth of Christ’s resurrection. He is risen! The tomb is empty! Jesus is the Christ! He has conquered death, vindicated as the one righteous one. His blood did atone for your sins. His merit earned everlasting life for you. In his hands are the keys to death and hades for he is alive forevermore. The apostles are telling the truth. They did see and touch Jesus in his resurrected body. See, God’s testimony about Christ is true. It is reliable. It’s firm.
Jesus was declared the Son of God in his resurrection; he fulfilled everything promised in the Old Testament. Jesus is truly alive, and he is alive forevermore. And he rules at the very right hand of the majesty on high. And what does this mean for us? It means the Gospel preaching to you is not empty, but it’s powerful, it’s effective. It means our faith is not fruitless, but that through faith, our salvation by grace alone gushes towards us in a never-ending flow.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are yours in your Lord. Justification and new life are yours through Jesus Christ’s righteousness.
You are no longer in your sins; the curse of death no longer imprisons you under condemnation and wrath. Indeed, Christ has silenced the laws accusing testimony against you, for he speaks louder than your conscience, the beauty of his righteousness imputed to you.
The fact of Christ resurrection means, then, that all these heavenly blessings are yours. That means that all the hardships of this present life—the way of the cross doesn’t compare with the glory to come. Indeed, Christ’s resurrection means your own bodily resurrection. We will be united in the flesh with our loved ones who have fallen asleep in Christ. For our hope which is certain is for a better land and a better city whose founder and builder is God himself.”
–Zach Keele, sermon on 1 Corinthians 15.12-19