“If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Without Christ’s resurrection, our individual Christian lives would be pathetic exercises in futility.
In ancient times the strongest swimmer among the sailors on a ship was called the archegos, a Greek word that means “front-runner” or “pioneer.” If as the ship approached shore, it got caught in waves so strong that a safe landing was doubtful, the archegos would fasten one end of a long rope to the ship, tie the other end around himself, jump into the water, and guide the ship to land. Once on land, he would secure the rope to a rock or tree. Then the other passengers could disembark and use the rope as a safety tether to reach the shore.
Jesus is our archegos. If He didn’t overcome death and make a way possible for us to do the same, we would have nothing more to look forward to than life on earth, which would leave us with no brighter hope than the typical unbeliever (Rom. 6:23).
The archegos illustration shows us once again the crucial importance of Christ’s rising from the grave. Without the Resurrection, Christianity loses its doctrinal strength, as we saw in yesterday’s study. Furthermore, the Christian life would become futile and pathetic if we could not point to the truth of the Resurrection. If our Lord were still in the tomb, He could not help us regarding eternity or our earthly ministry. We would have nothing to justify our efforts in Bible study, preaching, teaching, witnessing, or any activity of Christian service.
However, God the Father did raise “Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:24-25). Because Christ lives, we too shall live (John 14:19). This great certainty should give us all the confidence and motivation we’ll ever want or need as we serve our Lord and risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
Suggestions for Prayer
Based on the reality of the Resurrection, ask God today to give you fresh incentive to be His faithful servant.
For Further Study
Read Luke 24:1-12.
- What immediate effect did knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection have on Mary Magdalene and the other women?
- How did their reaction differ from most of the disciples’?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.