“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless. And so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-14

Novelist Angela Hunt the passage from Corinthians sums up the basis of our faith. If Jesus is alive today, that changes everything.

“That is the essence of the book and the film Risen.”

The main character of the book is a Roman tribune named Clavius. He was charged with guarding Jesus’ tomb to prevent the body from being stolen. When the tomb comes up empty, Clavius must go on a hunt to find the body and question everyone who might have taken it.

Angela has written many novels, but writing one based on a screenplay was different.

“The screenwriters approached it from the eyes of an agnostic who was a pagan. Clavius worshiped the gods of Rome and so he’s an unbeliever. When he realizes the truth, he is absolutely floored. And it’s the most powerful moment in the movie and I think probably in the book as well.”

When you come face to face with that truth, it must change your life.

The resurrection of Jesus is described as a historical event. Dozens of witnesses claimed to see Him after He was crucified. The resurrection is the bedrock of our faith as Christians.

“Without that hope, without that conviction, and that faith, none of us would have any reason to believe that life goes on after we die here.”

Jesus’ resurrection promises a future for us – if we follow Him. And that is the message of Risen. Angela describes it as The Robe meets C.S.I.

“Once the body of Jesus goes missing, [Clavius] has to go to the scene of the crime, examine the evidence, interview suspects, visit other locations… he kind of retraces Jesus’ steps through His final hours.”

Angela urges us to see the film and invite people of other faiths to join us.

“It’s a very different and fresh way to tell the story that we have all loved for so many years.”

The book and the film raise the question for each of us – did Jesus actually rise from the dead? And if the answer is yes, what does that mean for us today?

Key Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:12-14

Featured Songs: 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman; Losing by Tenth Ave North; Sons & Daughters by North Point Worship

Highlight : The implications of the resurrection

Novel talk: Risen