Category Archives: Christianity

Can I be a Christian if I don’t believe in the Resurrection?

Short answer: No.

This is not one of those beliefs that we can agree to disagree about. We can disagree about whether to use real wine or grape juice for communion, since communion is symbolic of the shed blood of Christ, but the literal death and resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of Christianity.

This can be a difficult doctrine for our North American minds to comprehend. Our Christian churches almost all make a much bigger deal of Christmas than Easter. The idea of a baby in a manger is a foreign concept to us as well, but the image of being washed in the blood of the lamb is, well – bloody.

But both the Old and the New Testaments teach that “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) The Old Testament shows our need for a savior, the New Testament shows God’s provision of a savior.

In the OT, priests were intercessors between the people and God, and the high priest made intercession  between the priests and God. The high priest offered sacrifices for himself once a year when he entered the inner room – the Most Holy Place – where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.

Hebrews 9:7-8 says: “But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.”
The inner room of the the tabernacle in the desert and the temple in Jerusalem was set apart by a curtain, or veil, that was sixty feet high and four inches thick. It is significant to note that at the moment of death of Christ, the veil was torn from the top to the bottom, obviously not by human hands. The torn veil, and then the destruction of the temple in AD 70 are symbolic of the end of the old covenant, where priests sacrificed animal blood for temporary payment for sin, and the beginning of the new covenant.

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12

And the Apostle Paul wrote:

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.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  1 Corinthians 15:17-20

How can we know if Christ has indeed been resurrected from the dead? I will attempt to answer that question in my next post.

 

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