Wednesday, January 15, 2014

If Someone Found the Bones of Jesus

Recently I read and heard a few comments regarding whether or not one would continue to be a Christian if "someone found the bones of Jesus."

Interestingly enough, most of the commentary I read/heard said, "I would still be a Christian."

I pondered this deeply.

Would I still consider myself to be a Christian?

No.  I wouldn't.

My life would change drastically if I found out that Jesus was not raised from the dead.

I would find a better paying job.

I wouldn't give to the church anymore.

I'd do less giving to help my fellow men.

I wouldn't concern myself so much with what was happening to others.  I'd be looking out for myself, my family, and the people I liked.

I wouldn't concern myself as much with trying to be a "better" person.

I know the responding argument.  "Don't you want to be a good person for the sake of the good?"

I've read too much.

I've studied too much.

If there is no God, there are no universals.  If there is no God, there is no ultimate good.  Nietzsche was right.  Some folks might want to deny this, but, really it's true.  The reality for us--if there is no God--is that we will all end up dust at one point or another.  Several billion years from now, the planet will be burned up to a crisp.  Whether it happens sooner or later, it matters not.  Might as well enjoy life while you are here and indulge.  This is all there is.

I'm not the only one who feels this way.  St. Paul put it clearly and succinctly in his first letter to the Corinthians:

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied...

 If the dead are not raised,
‘Let us eat and drink,
   for tomorrow we die.’ 

Paul was a realist.  He knew what the resurrection meant.  It meant everything.  Without it, he said the only response was "eat and drink for tomorrow we die."

The resurrection changes everything.  Without it, who cares?

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