Lesson 19: If Christ Be Not Raised
1 Cor 15:12-19
12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15Yea, 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. 16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
In the passage, Paul is discussing the resurrection of Christ after His death on the cross. Of that, there is no question. In Verse 17. Paul points out that if Christ wasn’t raised, then anyone who believed that He was the Messiah and redeemed His people, would be wrong and they would therefore be “yet in your [their] sins.” This is yet another proof that Christ did not die for the redemption of sins before the foundation of the world because if He did, then Paul couldn’t have stated that “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” because their sins would have been paid for. Then to drive home that point, Paul points out in the very next verse (verse 18) that if Christ hadn’t risen, “then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Paul couldn’t have said that if Jesus had died in redemption of sins before the foundation of the world because then those Old Testament Elect which this verse is referring to, would have been saved.
If that wasn’t clear enough that Christ died on the cross for sins, what about the very next three verses:
1 Cor 15:
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Christ became the second Adam that saved His Elect only when He came in human form, died on the cross and was resurrected.
47Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48I am that bread of life. 49Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
In this passage, it is clear that Jesus offered His own flesh and blood, which pointed to Him sacrificing His life on the cross, as the atonement for mankind’s sin because He stated, in verse 53, “except ye eat the flesh of the Son or man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” To have no life means one is not saved. We also know that the Bible talks about Christ’s blood as symbolizing life or eternal life. But now notice the future tense of verse 51: “I will give…my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” He did not say He gave His flesh or He gave His life already which is yet another proof that Christ did not die for sins before the foundation of the world. Jesus spoke in the future tense here because when he had made that statement, He still had yet to die on the cross in order to redeem the Elect, to give His life as a ransom for many, so that they could have life everlasting.