It might surprise some Christians that the Bible places a great importance on the relationship between Jesus’ bodily resurrection, his exaltation and the effectiveness of the preached word of God, and not merely the content of what is preached.
Jesus’ exaltation hinges on his bodily resurrection from the dead. The conquering of death by Jesus demonstrated that he is the Son of God (cf. Rom. 1:4) and all subsequent acts of his exaltation are because he has conquered sin and death. Do we recognize, however, how these matters of Jesus’ resurrection and exaltation are united to and experienced by sinners in the preaching of the gospel?
As Paul wrote, “…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain. We are found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hoped in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1Cor. 15:14-19).
The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead is united to both 1) the effectiveness and content of apostolic preaching, and 2) the power and purpose of the Christian’s faith.
It might surprise some Christians that the Bible places a great importance on the relationship between Jesus’ bodily resurrection, his exaltation and the effectiveness of the preached word of God, and not merely the content of what is preached. You see, Paul is not merely saying that if the resurrection of Jesus did not happen, then to preach that it did would be to pass on incorrect information. While he does make this point, he also affirms that the apostolic preaching lacks the power of, and for, new life, if in fact there is no living, reigning exalted Jesus active in that preached word.