Nothing Else Matters…

Jaroslav Pelikan, longtime Yale professor considered one of “his generation’s preeminent authorities on Christian history,” was renowned for his extensive academic career. He published more than thirty books and won the esteemed Kluge Prize as a lifetime award for his voluminous writing. One of his students, however, recounted what he considered his teacher’s most important words, spoken from his deathbed: “If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not—nothing else matters.”

Pelikan echoed Paul’s conviction: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The apostle made such a bold statement because he knew that the resurrection was not merely a one-off miracle but rather the pinnacle of God’s redeeming work in human history. The promise of resurrection wasn’t only His assurance that Jesus would rise from the dead but His bold affirmation that other dead and ruined things (lives, neighborhoods, relationships) would also one day be brought back to life through Christ. If there’s no resurrection, however, Paul knew that we’re in deep trouble. If there’s no resurrection, then death and destruction win.

But, of course, “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” (v. 20). Destroyed by the Victor, death loses. And Jesus is the “firstfruits” of all the life that will follow. He conquered evil and death so that we could live bold and free. This changes everything.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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