I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
— Galatians 1:6-10 NASB
This statement by the Apostle Paul is definitely one of his more heavier statements. Anyone who would teach a false gospel contrary to the real Gospel, he says they are to be accursed. This is how seriously he took the purity of the Gospel and rightfully so. The Gospel is a message of hope for wretched sinners to be redeemed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, due to a fallen humanity and the deceitfulness of Satan, it did not take long for the Gospel to get distorted. Some tried to turn it into a works based religion, meaning that we would have to do good works to earn salvation from God. In fact, that is who Paul is addressing in the passage. Others denied the divinity of Christ which is a central tenant of the Gospel. A little under 2,000 years later, the disortation of the Gospel has not ceased. I would venture to say that it is worse today than it was back then. We live in a postmodern culture today in 2022. What this means is that the broad strokes of culture no longer believe in objective truth. Truth is relative in the mind of the postmodernist, it is subjective. This is why you often hear the notion of “your truth” and “my truth” in the media, the culture, etc. Unfortunately this has now slipped into the Church.
It has become popular to embrace postmodernism in today’s church culture because it is the “loving thing to do”. This is why we have seen the acceptance of sinful behaviors like homosexuality, divorce, and partiality. Even though scripture says that those are sinful, we can’t actually tell people that because it is subjective according to postmodernism. As a result of this, doctrine itself is seen as taboo today and that one doesn’t have to embrace specific doctrines within Christianity in order to be christian. Today, you are considered a Christian just by being a nice person, following just the teachings of Jesus (or some of them rather), and you go to church on Easter and Christmas. We have seen this happen even with things like the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A few weeks ago, a tweet went viral among Christian circles regarding this very thing. Here is that tweet.
The question itself is problematic. It suggests that even without the resurrection, the teachings of Jesus are still models to follow. The more troubling aspect of it is the fact that many folks say their lives would not be different. Many said that their view of Christianity is essentially following the teachings of Jesus like loving your neighbor and more love love love and the resurrection is just symbolic of how to make breakthroughs in our lives. This is where postmodernism in the church has gotten us. People have evented their own versions of Christianity and a Jesus of their own image that is contrary to the Word of God. And if you say something about it, you are told the typical “judge not lest ye be judged” which is a complete misuse of Matthew 7. There are no subjective truths within Christianity. The Gospel is not subjective, it is in fact objective. The resurrection is an objective historical event that happened. In fact, the resurrection of Jesus is the very hinge that Christianity hangs on. Without the resurrection, there would be no Christianity. Let me explain.
In order to understand the resurrection, you have to understand what happened at the cross, and you can’t understand what happened at the cross without understanding why it was necessary. In the beginning, when God created everything, He called it all very good. Sin had not entered the narrative of humanity. But then Genesis 3 happened. From that point on, sin entered into our narrative. We were eternally separated from God, wicked and depraved down to our very bones.
as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
— Romans 3:10-18 NASB
We are not righteous, we are not good. We were eternally bound for hell. But God made a way. A way that was planned before the foundation of the earth. It was to be accomplished through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Messiah, the Son of God (God in flesh). He who was born of a virgin, and lived a sinless righteous life. He was put to death. He bore our sins and took on the full wrath of God.
The death of Jesus is not to be taken lightly. Even before He was arrested, He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was in such agony because of He was about to go through to point where He was sweating blood. Despite all of this, He was still perfectly obedient to the Father as we see in Matthew 26:36. He was arrested, beaten and brought before the Pharisees where He was sentenced to death. They then brought Him to Pontious Pilate where He was then lashed 39 times. The roman soldiers then took Him and put a crown of thorns on His head and then beat then into His head. All of this happened before He went to cross. He was then brought to Mt Calvary where He was nailed to the cross with thick nails which caused excruciating pain. He took on God’s wrath for our sins and accomplished the Father’s plan. He died and was buried in a tomb. However, on the third day, He arose from the grave fulfilling the prophesies and the work of God. By the resurrection, Jesus proved that He was indeed the Lamb of God, the Christ. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, there would be no Christianity, and no hope of redemption because Jesus wouldn’t have been who He said He was. His teachings might gone down in history as just good teachings from a wise man along with other famous Philosophers. However, we would still be dead in sin bound for hell.
Thankfully we don’t have to worry about what ifs or anything because we know for a fact that Christ arose from the dead. This is the objective truth of the Gospel. The resurrection is not a metaphor or some sort of symbolism, it is a fact. It is what keeps Christianity in tact. Despite the postmodernism that has crept into the Church, we as believers know where our hope lies. And we know that when one repents and surrenders to Christ, that person will be forgiven and justified in the sight of God. That is only possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is what we as christians celebrate on resurrection Sunday. May God receive all the glory and praise for the message of the Gospel. Praise be to God for all eternity.