Paul gave us several conclusions to the horrible thought if Christ had not risen in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19.
First of all we would have no reason to preach. If Jesus is dead, we have no authority to preach. Yes, everything that Jesus had taught would be null and void, for he would be a fraud.
Paul reminds us that if Christ is not risen, then our faith is empty. All of the hope contained in the gospel would be a huge hoax. Our claims of our own resurrection would have no merit and no guarantee.
Another sad thing would be that preachers and Christians alike would be false witnesses. The Lord appeared to all of His apostles, many of His disciples and as many as 500 disciples at one point. These people would be liars if Jesus is still dead. If we continue to preach the resurrection of Jesus today we are liars too.
If Christ is not resurrected, then our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins. There is no salvation without the resurrection. For without the whole gospel, the death, burial and resurrection, then there was no payment for man’s sins. If Jesus is dead, He didn’t triumph over death, nor did he pay the penalty for our sins. You and I are still guilty sinners with no reconciliation to the Lord God of heaven.
If Christ is not risen, those who died in and for Christ are just plain dead. Yes, dying in Christ is without reason and they are forever dead without the promise of resurrection themselves.
If Christ is not risen, we only have hope for this life and we are to be pitied above all men. Just think those who gave their lives for their faith did so for just an illusion, they were just pitiable foolish people. The peace of mind that would come for dying in Christ would be false. How tragic to have all hopes dashed because that hope would be false without the resurrection!
BUT – Jesus is alive, He did rise from the dead!
With all these miserable, false conclusions proved false we do have true hope. The empty tomb is the guarantee of our hope. Jesus is the first-fruits of the resurrection making our hope true!