“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 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. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 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 of all people most to be pitied.” – 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Perhaps most of you know Jack Lalanne for his “Power Juicer” – a notable appliance he invented known to extract juice from virtually any fruit or vegetable. He popularized the phrase, “That’s the power of juice!” from the marketing of this device.
But perhaps what many people don’t know is that he performed feats of fitness that have garnered world-record recognition such as swimming the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds of equipment on, including two air tanks (at age 40); did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes on his very own television show (at age 45); and several more impressive swimming exploits – last of which he did at age 70 where he swam a distance of 1 mile handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towing 70 rowboats, one with several people onboard!
Later on in his life, he realized that his greatest accomplishment yet would be to live as long as he possibly could to keep his fame for fitness. He often said, “I can’t die. It would ruin my image.” But every man is destined to die once (Heb 9:27). And so, Francois Henri “Jack” Lalanne, one of America’s foremost health and fitness pioneer and guru, died on January 23, 2011 at the age of 96 from respiratory failure arising from pneumonia.
Jesus Christ is not your “every” man. Unlike Jack Lalanne, death would not be His final end. The guards who were entrusted to secure His tomb were bribed to report that His disciples came at night and stole His body away while they were sleeping. Those who opposed Jesus hoped that this testimony can be used to explain His whereabouts in the hope that death would ruin His image and falsify His claim that He is the Son of God.
But many people were witness to His resurrection, including a crowd of five hundred at one point (1 Cor. 15:6). Death did not corrupt His image and His pronouncement as the Son of God because He overcame death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most important event in human history. Without it, we would not be able to hold on to a faith so strong and a promise so powerful – offering eternal life to those who surrender their lives to Christ (John 3:16). If you don’t know it yet, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, much like Him, death can never ruin your image!