“and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. . . .
If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.”
1 Corinthians 15:14, 19 (HCSB)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event in human history. The Incarnation and the Cross were already a big deal, but they sit incomplete without the crowning completion that Sunday morning. The cross without the empty tomb is merely the tragic love story of a failed mortal man. The Good News of Jesus Christ, the Gospel Message, the salvation story tying all Christians together in Christ, with Christ, and for Christ, that story crumbles down to failure if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. But with the resurrection, the epic symbol of death–the cross–becomes a picture of life. The end of man becomes a new beginning. The sacrificial system is completed. Battered and bloody death becomes vindicated life eternal.
For apologists, the resurrection assumes a new sheen when translating this truth into the many and varied theaters of opposition. For one thing, as a general rule, Christians should be ready and willing to state why the resurrection matters and give a few reasons for believing it, after all, “if Christ has not been raised” then our hope in Christ is for this life only, and “we should be pitied” (1 Cor 15:14, 19). Not everyone will be an expert on the resurrection but, we should all understand the resurrection enough to explain it, defend it, and belief it. Second, we need to remember God’s authority over all enemies. Not even death can defeat the ministry of Christ, we have no reason to think the war for God’s glory will be lost to this atheist, or that muslim, or this culture shift, or that federal policy. So long as we fight on God’s side, the war cannot be lost no matter how badly our individual battles might be going. Third, Apologists should recall the resurrection if for no other reason than to remember that if God can conquer death, he can overcome the objections from a few skeptics. We really have no good reason to surrender to doubt, or despair over our difficult and thankless plight.