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What a difference the resurrection makes

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By Brian Owens

A story is told of an event that took place in the villages of northern India where a missionary was preaching in a marketplace.
As he finished, a Muslim gentleman came up and said, “You must concede we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.”
The missionary smiled and said, “I would like to hear what it is.”
The Muslim said, “You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, all you have is an empty grave.”
The missionary smiled and said, “Exactly! Mohammed is dead; he is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but the Lord Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindred and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope.”
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the lynchpin of Christianity. Without it our faith can only be consigned to the dusty halls of museums alongside the many world religions.
Without the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the founder of our faith is nothing more than a box of bones alongside those of Abraham, Buddha, Confucius and Muhammad.
If Christ is not raised Christianity is, as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15, a foolish, empty waste of time and we are among the most pitiful people in the world.
Theologian Henry Morris points out that “the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.”
If it is true, then Jesus Christ is indeed lord and we must submit to his authority in all things.
Of all the evidence for the resurrection, the most compelling is the changed life of one who has been saved by simple faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. The apostle Paul, writing in First Corinthians 15:8-10, includes himself in the list of those who encountered the risen Christ. He goes on to say, “by the grace of God I am what I am … ”
It was this man who went from a persecutor of Christians to a preacher of the Gospel. Why such a striking conversion if he was not convinced that he encountered the risen Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 9:1-9)?
The Lord Jesus’ resurrection was God’s acceptance of his atoning sacrifice on the cross for his people.
What about you, friend? Do you trust in the risen Jesus Christ alone for salvation? Do you have the hope of salvation that is provided only by a risen savior?
Repent and believe the gospel today.

Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at brian@farmdalebaptist.com.