Impossible Without The Resurrection 1 Cor. 15: 3-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an event that was witnessed by over 500 people. It is a well established fact in scripture. We commemorate Jesus’ resurrection today. But it is much more than a memorial; it is much more than a “religious doctrine.” It is an event without which the fulfillment of God’s promises would be impossible.
Without the resurrection, God’s promise to Abraham and Israel would be impossible. In Gen 13:14-17, God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham AND to his seed FOR EVER. For God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, Abraham would have to be alive and would have to physically rise to live in and possess the land. Look at Heb 11:8-10. The promises were to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob and to the twelve tribes [Ps 105:8-12]. Yet, according to Heb 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off…”. So, for them to get the promises, in the future, they would have to rise from the dead.
And, indeed they will rise. Ezek 37:11-14 [following the prophecy to the valley of dry bones] shows you that the graves of Israel will open and they will live. God will place them in their own land. David is definitely one of those still in his grave [Acts 2:29] and yet David is one of those who will rise and dwell in the land [Ezek 37:24-25]. If it hadn’t been for the resurrection of Jesus Christ this would never happen.
Abraham knew that there would be a resurrection. He could have never gone through with the attempted sacrifice of Isaac if there wasn’t going to be a resurrection [Heb 11:17-19]. How else would God have fulfilled his promise in Isaac, if Isaac was slain without offspring? He knew this by faith and it affected his life.
Job knew that there would be a resurrection. In Job 19:25-27, Job said, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another…”. He knew he was coming up. He knew that he had a redeemer. He knew all this by faith in God and what God said.
David knew that there would be a resurrection. In Ps 17:15 he said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” David knew he was coming up long before Ezekiel recorded his prophecy concerning the resurrection of Israel. He knew this by faith and it affected his life.
Without the resurrection, God’s promise to us would be impossible. You know the often quoted verse, Jn 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And he wasn’t just talking about an eternal spiritual existence, but an everlasting life physically in the presence of the Lord. Look at Jn 14:1-3. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you… I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” For God to fulfill this promise, we would have to rise from the dead. And we will.
Paul said, “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain,” [1 Cor 15:13-14]. He went on to say, “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished,” [1 Cor 15:18]. Yet Jn 3:16 says, “… shall never perish.” He rose from the dead.
And, therefore, we will rise and live forever. Look carefully at 1 Cor 15:50-55. We are going to change. Those of us who are alive at the coming of the Lord will change from mortal to immortal. Those of us who are dead in Christ will change from corruptible to incorruptible. The grave will not have the victory, because we will rise from the dead to be with God. Praise God!
Conclusion: Not everyone who is going to rise is going to live with God forever. Look at Jn 5:29. Some come forth unto the resurrection of life and some unto the resurrection of damnation. Like Abraham, Job and David, I know which one I’m coming up in because my faith is in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have received God’s gift of his Son, who in turn gave me eternal life. I’ll live with him forever. I know this by faith and it has affected my life. But what about you?
It is impossible for you to be saved without the resurrection. In Jn 11:25-26 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” That’s the question I’m asking you. Do you believe this? Will you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today? Will you receive him and thereby receive his eternal life so that you can come up in the resurrection of life? Can you trust him by faith to save you and to raise you when he returns?