If the lynchpin is removed, the wheel falls off and the vehicle can longer move; it is useless. Paul tells us that resurrection is the lynchpin to Christianity.
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God 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 also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied, 1 Cor 15:13-19.
I think we understand that. If Christ has not been raised from the dead, why should we care anything about how he tells us to live? His resurrection is the reason we believe in his Divinity, in his right to tell us how to live, and ultimately in the hope of our own resurrection. Our whole belief system stands or falls on the resurrection.
Paul said a few other things about Christ’s death and resurrection in Romans 6: Or are you ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he who has died is justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him, Rom 6:3-8.
Did you catch that? If we were united with him in the likeness of his death, we should also be united with him in the likeness of his resurrection. That new life to which we are resurrected is not the one in the future, but the one we live now, no longer enslaved to sin. Keep on reading in Romans 6. Christ died once and will not have to die again because death no longer has dominion over him. The life he lives now is a life lived “unto God.” What does that mean for me? Even so reckon you also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey the lusts thereof: neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under law, but under grace.
Now that I have been raised in the likeness of his resurrection through my baptism, sin should no longer control me; I should control myself because through Christ I can. If I insist on making excuses for myself, “That’s just the way I am,” I am denying the power of my resurrection with Christ. If I take Rom 7:15 out of its context, using it as Satan misused scriptures in Matthew 4, saying, “See I want to be good, I just can’t help it,” when Paul clearly states at the end of this passage that a solution has been found, Who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ.. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, I have denied that very deliverance.
When I continue to sin and do nothing to improve myself, I have denied the effects of the resurrection as surely as if I no longer believed in it. It is the same lynchpin, the pin that keeps the wheels from falling off the cart, the pin that keeps my hope in salvation upright and rolling, even on rocky ground or muddy tracks.
Remember the first time you were raised from the dead, that the life you live now you live unto God because sin no longer controls you; you, with the aid of Christ, control it. If you deny the power of the resurrection with ungodly living, then “your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” Live instead like a resurrected creature, and you will make it to the ultimate resurrection.