1 Corinthians 15:12-22
In our text today, Paul gets to the heart of the problem at Corinth, and thus the core issue of his teaching. Some false teachers in Corinth held to the position that there was no resurrection of the dead, and thus no resurrection of Christ. As we stated last week, Paul is arguing in favor of the resurrection from a variety of viewpoints- from the evidentiary viewpoint, from the logical viewpoint, and from the theological viewpoint. So today, he argues logically from the opposite point of view- what would our faith be like if there were no resurrection?
In fact, this is a very bleak but important question. What would it be like to live without hope of eternal life? For Christians, this is a foreign thought, utterly at odds with our entire existence and world view. But for billions of people in the world, this is the dark reality of life.
Imagine for a moment that you are trapped in a cold, black, harsh cave. You can feel the ground under your feet; you can feel the rocky walls at your fingertips, but you cannot see a thing- it is utterly pitch-black. You tentatively move forward, feeling your way, hoping for some escape. You do not know how you got there- it is a mystery, and it is pointless. You do not know where you are going- there is no light before you or behind you. You take one step after another in the darkness, searching for some exit, or at least some meaning and purpose, but finding none. All around you is heard the murmur of other voices and other people wondering what is going on, why we are here, where we are going, how we can escape- but no one seems to know the answer. It is utterly pointless and without purpose! This is a picture of life without the hope of resurrection- it is blackness and hopeless chaos.