Jesus’s Resurrection, 1 Cor 15:3-8

Jesus’s Resurrection Sunday

This Sunday is regarded by many as Easter Sunday.  But “Easter” is not about Jesus’s resurrection.  Easter is the name of a female pagan goddess.  Therefore, we refer to this day as Resurrection Sunday, the day of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead.  Notice these great truths regarding Jesus’s resurrection.

Jesus’s Resurrection

The Prophecy

The prophecy of Jesus’s resurrection – 1 Cor 15:3-4.  Paul wrote that Christ’s resurrection was “according to the scriptures.”  When Peter preached about his resurrection, he quoted a prophecy in Ps 16:10-11, “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 own 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

The proof of his resurrection – Acts 1:3.  Luke wrote that, “he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days.”  Of course, before he appeared to anyone, several saw the evidence of the empty tomb.  Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, Salome, Joanna, and other women were the first to see the empty tomb.  They also heard the testimony of the two angels who said he was risen.  Peter and John saw the empty tomb, as well.  For more information see The Resurrection of Jesus.

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, and then to the women as they went to tell his disciples.  In 1 Cor 15:5-8, Paul identifies different people who saw the Lord risen from the dead: Cephas, the twelve, above 500 brethren at one time, James, all the apostles, and then 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.

The Purpose

The purpose of his resurrection – there are several very important reasons why Jesus had to rise from the dead.  

Jesus’s Resurrection Was For:

Israel’s Hope

Israel’s 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 the one who will rise and lead the nation as their king, Ezek 37:24-25.

The Gospel’s Completion

The gospel is incomplete without his resurrection.  In Jesus’s death and burial our sins were paid for and the body of sins was destroyed, Rom 6:6.  But by his resurrection we get life, Rom 6:4.  We are alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom 6:11.  

Our Spiritual Resurrection

Because Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, his body is now 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

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.”  According to Gal 2:20, we are made conformable to his death when we are crucified with Christ.  Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”  What this means is that when you receive Jesus as your Saviour, you don’t have to try living like you’re a Christian.  You simply die to yourself and let Christ live his life through you.  This way, the power of God that raised Christ from the dead will work in you to change you.  By changing who you are, God can 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.  Now, if this thief decides one day to quit stealing, he’s still a thief.  Because he is a thief at heart, simply refusing to steal anymore doesn’t change him.  Under the wrong circumstances, he may steal again.

Now, if this thief comes to Christ and gets saved, he can change.  With Christ he can die to being a thief and be risen to walk as an honest man.  Christ living inside of him gives him the power to quit being a thief.  And, therefore, he can quit stealing.  He is alive as a new creature in Christ and he can begin to enjoy a whole new life.  You see, it is the resurrection power of Christ that changes us into God’s new creatures.  Without the resurrection, Christianity would just be another brand of religion.

The Promise

The promise of his resurrection – the promise of Jesus’s 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

Jesus’s Resurrection Leaves No Doubt

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.  

Then when you struggle with some sin in your life, admit what you are, die to yourself on the cross with Christ, and yield to the power of his resurrection within you.  You’ll have the victory in Christ.