Hanging inside the Manchester City Art Gallery is the painting by Holman Hunt titled The Shadow of Death. The painting depicts the inside of the carpenter's shop in Nazareth. Stripped to the waist, Jesus stands by a wooden trestle on which He has put down His saw. He lifts His eyes toward heaven, and the look on His face is one of pain, ecstasy or both. He stretches, raising both arms above His head. As He does so, the evening sunlight streaming through the open door casts a dark shadow in the form of a cross on the wall behind Him, where His tool rack looks like a horizontal bar on which His hands have been crucified. The tools remind us of the fateful hammer and nails.
If Christ is not raised, the death of Christ on the cross was without redemption. The ramification of a worthless faith is that you remain in your sins. If there is no resurrection, we should leave the church and go to the synagogue and eat the Seder meal. If Christ is not raised, then up is down and down is up. If Christ is not raised, right is wrong and wrong is right. If Christ is not raised, north is south and south is north.
In Isaiah 7, the only thing standing between Judah and its aggressors was the Word of God and a little baby. This sermon on faith draws a parallel with our lives. In the face of everything that threatens us, the only things we really have to trust in are God's Word and the baby he has given.