We love our heroes. Men and women who have had the courage of their convictions to take a stand. Often, we associate our heroes with self-sacrifice, i.e., the giving of their lives for a cause greater than themselves. Think about 9/11 first responders, military heroes, or even a mother who covers her child just before an accident. All of these paid the ultimate price to save lives. Even Jesus did this on the most epic scale possible, but He’s not a hero (He’s much more than that!)
1 Corinthians 15:14 - And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
Things to think about:
· Who is a hero in your life?
o Do you know someone personally that you consider a hero?
o Is their a family member you never met whose story of courage lives on?
o Maybe there is a figure from history you admire for their heroism
· Yet, none of these rose from the dead!
· Jesus did lay down His life for you and me and an entire world of sinners
o Romans 5:8 - While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
· Unlike all of our other heroes, dying alone wasn’t enough
o His resurrection was a well-documented fact
§ 1 Cor 15:6 – after that He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters…
o 1 Cor. 15:14 - And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith
o That’s a pretty strong statement, why do you think Paul says this?
o There was a false teaching at the time that there is no resurrection of the dead, including Jesus
§ 1 Cor 15: 16-17 – and if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
· Jesus’ death and resurrection were for more than our life in the here and now
o 1 Cor 15:19 – if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied
§ This puts a pretty big hole in the prosperity gospel
o Why should we be most pitied if our hope is only for this life?
· We too will be resurrected
o 1 Cor 15:42-44 - So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
o This is our eternal hope
§ 1 Cor 15: 54 - When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
§ 1 Cor 15:56-57 - the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
· What should our response be?
o 1 Cor 15: 58 - Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
o And isn’t that what we admire about our heroes?
§ Stand firm, let nothing move you
§ Give yourselves fully to the work
§ Your labor is not in vain
· Jesus is much more than a hero
o He died for your sins
o He was raised from the dead
o He will reign for eternity