Today I heard about a poll that I had to check out for myself.. According to a recent poll you can read about here or see in detail here, one in four British Christians don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus and 31% of British Christians don't believe in life after death.
I was shocked by this poll. I don't won't to be judgmental, but I'm not going out a limb by saying that you can't be a true Christian if you don't believe that Jesus was crucified, buried and then resurrected. This is THE fundamental point of Christianity.
Apparently belief in the Easter story, even within the walls of the church and the homes of self-professed Christians, is not something we should take for granted.
"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then the Twelve." 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
The death and resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. Without these events actually happening we are fools to believe.
"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead." 1 Corinthians 15:14-15a
"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 Corinthians 15:17-19
If you're one of these "christians" who don't believe in the resurrection then Paul pities you. If Christ didn't really rise from the dead then we are wasting our time. If Christ wasn't raised from the dead then eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Why waste your time if Christ didn't rise?
"But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
This Holy Week we declare that Christ did suffer, die and rise from the dead. This Holy Week we declare that we believe this, not because we feel that it might be true, but because we know it is true. The resurrection is not a tertiary truth for Christianity; no, it is a foundation of our faith. The rolled stone is a cornerstone of Christianity.
Thank God that Christ not only died for our sins, but (literally) rose from the dead, today.