Chapter 55: Resurrection: the Central Message
The message of Christ’s resurrection is the central pillar of the gospel, without which it is empty and futile. There is a difference between resurrection and resuscitation. A resurrection body has many capacities, different from our present ones. Resurrection and instantaneous change yield the same glorified bodies. Eternal life is not a prolongation of earthly life, but a total renewal of it. There is a first and a second resurrection to come.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith … And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor. 15:13,14,17-19)
Paul spoke often to his younger colleagues about Christ’s resurrection. The apostles preached about Christ’s resurrection everywhere: Peter in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul wherever they went. Paul wrote about it to the Thessalonians and the Corinthians. With the resurrection faith in Christ stands or falls. If people do not believe, it often is because their faith breaks on the rock