The Resurrection of Jesus 1 Cor. 15:3-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This Sunday is regarded by many as Easter Sunday, but “Easter” is the name of a female pagan goddess. In actuality, for us, this is not Easter Sunday but rather Resurrection Sunday, the day on which the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead following his crucifixion. So, today I am going to preach on some Biblical aspects of the resurrection that are helpful for all of us.
The prophecy of his resurrection – 1 Cor 15:3-4 – his resurrection was “according to the scriptures” – Peter knew where the principle verses were in Ps 16:10-11 which say, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” On many occasions the Lord prophesied of his resurrection. He said to the Pharisees, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” [Jn 2:19]. In another place he told them, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” [Matt 12:40]. He told his disciples, “… that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be raised again the third day,” [Matt 16:21].
The proof of his resurrection – Acts 1:3 says that, “he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days” – 1 Cor 15:5-8 identifies the different people that saw the Lord risen from the dead: Cephas, the twelve, above 500 brethren at one time, James, all the apostles, and Paul – in Rev 1:12-18 John saw him in heaven – Thomas wouldn’t believe until he saw him face to face and had the opportunity to touch the wounds – when he saw him he worshipped him and said, “My Lord and my God,” Jn 20:28 – not the least of all of these proofs is the empty tomb.
The purpose of his resurrection – there are several very important reasons why Jesus had to rise from the dead – first, for Israel, their hope is in the resurrection of the saints of their nation [Acts 23:6] – according to Ezek 37, the saints who are laid in their graves will rise and inhabit the land of Israel forever – David is mentioned by name as one who will rise and lead the nation [Ezek 37:24-25] – second, the gospel is incomplete without his resurrection – in his death and burial our sins are paid for and the body of sins is destroyed [Rom 6:6] – but in his resurrection is where we get to walk in the newness of life [Rom 6:4] – we are alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord [Rom 6:11] – third, because of his resurrection his body in now in heaven seated at the right hand of God – when we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into his body we are already seated in heavenly places in him [1 Cor 12:13; Eph 5:30, 2:6] – his resurrection gives us proof and assurance that the life he offers us is, in fact, eternal.
The power of his resurrection – in Phil 3:10 Paul said, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” In Gal 2:20 Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” In 1 Cor 15:31 Paul said, “I die daily.” What all this means simply is that when you receive Jesus as your Saviour you don’t have to try to start living like you’re a Christian. You simply die to yourself and let Christ live his life through you. You are crucified with Christ to be made conformable unto his death so that the power of God that raised him from the dead will work in you to change who you are and thereby change what you do.
Take a thief, for example. He didn’t become a thief the first time that he stole something. He was already a thief at heart or he would have never stolen anything. Once he steals, he reveals that he is a thief. Now this thief gets saved; he’s still a thief. He comes to Christ and he says, “I am a no good, sorry, guilty thief and I need to change.” He repents of being a thief but, because he is a thief at heart, simply refusing to steal doesn’t change him. Under the wrong circumstances he will steal again. So, in Christ he dies to being a thief and is risen to walk as an honest man. Christ living inside of him gives him the power to quit being a thief and, therefore, he quits stealing. If the old fellow decides to come down off of that cross where he is crucified with Christ and start living his old life again, you can be sure that he’ll start stealing again one of these days. Why? He’s back to being a thief. You see, it is the resurrection power of Christ that changes us into God’s creatures. Without the resurrection, we would just be another brand of religion.
The promise of his resurrection – the promise of his resurrection is simply this: as his body literally rose from the dead so our bodies will literally rise from the dead. We are buried in corruption and we will be raised in incorruption. We live in mortality but we will be changed into immortality [1 Cor 15:50-55]. Jesus Christ, because of his resurrection, is going to “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself,” [Phil 3:21]. Folks, those of us who are saved are going to rise one day with a brand new, glorified body which will never sin, never suffer pain, never die and never sorrow again. Glory to God.
Conclusion: You have no need to doubt whether the bodily resurrection of Jesus is real: it was prophesied, it was proven and its purposes are being fulfilled. If you want the power of Christ to work in you to save you, to change who you are, to give you eternal life and to change what your body will be like in eternity, then you need to trust Jesus Christ today. And if you are already saved and struggling with the same sin over and over with no change and no victory, you need to admit what you are, die to yourself on the cross with Christ and yield to the power of his resurrection within you. And remember to be comforted by this fact, Jesus is coming soon to give you a brand new body that will live forever with him in eternity!!