|The Holy Women at the Tomb|
by James Tissot
True, Jesus taught very high ethics but, as C.S. Lewis showed in his book The Abolition of Man, other people taught them too. It wasn't being a great ethical teacher that made Jesus different. It was his resurrection -- and what it means -- that made him different. And if that never happened, then you might as well move along. Find an easier religion or philosophy, one that hasn't gotten people insulted and martyred for the last two millennia.
After all, "If our hope in Christ is only for this life here on earth, then people should feel more sorry for us than for anyone else."
On the other hand if this really happened, if the Messiah came back from the dead, well... That changes everything.
"I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important truths: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day, as the Scriptures say; and that he appeared to Peter and then to the twelve apostles. After that Christ appeared to more than 500 other believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died. Then he appeared to James and later to all the apostles. Last of all, he appeared to me. I was different, like a baby born before the normal time.
"If Christ has never been raised, then the message we tell is worth nothing. And your faith is worth nothing. And we will also be guilty of lying about God, because we have told people about him, saying that he raised Christ from death...
"If Christ has not been raised from death, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins. And those in Christ who have already died are lost."
First Letter to the Corinthians chapter 15 verses 3 - 8, 14, 17 - 19, ERV