Posts Tagged ‘death and resurrection’


Under Gods Command
The Resurrection Body

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
     So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. Physical and Resurrection Bodies If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
     I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Paul launches into a discussion about what our resurrected bodies will be like. If you could select your own body, what kind would you choose—strong, athletic, beautiful? Paul explains that we will be recognizable in our resurrected body, yet it will be better than we can imagine, for it will be made to live forever. We will still have our own personality and individuality, but these will be perfected through Christ’s work. The Bible does not reveal everything that our resurrected body will be able to do, but we know it will be perfect, without any infirmities, sickness, or disease (see Philippians 3:21).
Paul compares the resurrection of our bodies with the growth of a seed in a garden. Seeds placed in the ground don’t grow unless they “die” first. The plant that grows looks very different from the seed because God gives it a new “body.” There are different kinds of bodies—people, animals, fish, birds. Even the angels in heaven have bodies that are different in beauty and glory. Our resurrected body will be very different from our earthly body. It will be a spiritual body full of glory.
Our present body is perishable and prone to decay. Our resurrection body will be transformed. The spiritual body will not be limited by the laws of nature. This does not necessarily mean we’ll be superpeople, but our body will be different from and more capable than our present earthly body. Our spiritual body will not be weak, will never get sick, and will never die.
The “last Adam” refers to Christ. Because Christ rose from the dead, he is a life-giving spirit. This means that he entered into a new form of existence. He is the source of the spiritual life that will result in our resurrection. Christ’s new glorified human body now suits his new glorified life—just as Adam’s human body was suitable to his natural life. When we are resurrected, God will give us a transformed, eternal body suited to our new eternal life.
We all face limitations. Those who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities are especially aware of this. Some may be blind, but they can see a new way to live. Some may be deaf, but they can hear God’s good news. Some may be lame, but they can walk in God’s love. In addition, they have the encouragement that those disabilities are only temporary. Paul tells us that we all will be given new bodies when Christ returns and that these bodies will be without disabilities, never to die or become sick. This can give us hope in our suffering.
“We will not all sleep” means that Christians alive at that day will not have to die but will be transformed immediately. A trumpet blast will usher in the new heaven and earth. The Jews would understand the significance of this because trumpets were always blown to signal the start of great festivals and other extraordinary events (Numbers 10:10).
Satan seemed to be victorious in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) and at the cross of Jesus. But God turned Satan’s apparent victory into defeat when Jesus Christ rose from the dead (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-15). Thus, death is no longer a source of dread or fear. Christ overcame it, and one day we will also. The law will no longer make sinners out of us just because we cannot keep it. Death has been defeated, and we have hope beyond the grave.

Lets Bring it Home: Paul says that because of the resurrection, nothing we do is useless. Sometimes we become apathetic about serving the Lord or hesitate to do good because we don’t see any results. Knowing that Christ has won the ultimate victory should affect the way we live right now. Don’t let discouragement over an apparent lack of results keep you from doing the work of the Lord enthusiastically as you have opportunity, knowing that your work will have eternal results.


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 15:3-11For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.  For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The central theme of the gospel is given in these verses, a key text for the defense of Christianity. The three most important points are:

  1. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. Without the truth of this message, Christ’s death was worthless, and those who believe in him are still in their sins and without hope. However, Christ as the sinless Son of God took the punishment of sin so that those who believe can have their sins removed. “The Scriptures” refers to Old Testament prophecies such as Psalm 16:8-11 and Isaiah 53:5-6. Christ’s death on the cross was no accident or afterthought. It had been part of God’s plan from all eternity in order to bring about the salvation of all who believe.
  2.  He was buried. The fact of Christ’s death is revealed in the fact of his burial. Many have tried to discount the actual death of Christ, but Jesus did in fact die and was buried in a tomb.
  3.  He rose from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. Christ was raised permanently, forever; his Father raised him from the dead on “the third day” as noted in the Gospels (Friday afternoon to Sunday morning—three days in Jewish reckoning of time). This also occurred “according to the Scriptures.” Jesus quoted the prophet Jonah in Matthew 12:40 (see Jonah 1:17) to show the connection to “three days” as prophesied in the Old Testament. Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110 also foretell the resurrection of the Messiah.

There will always be people who say that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. Paul assures us that many people saw Jesus after his resurrection: Peter (Cephas); the twelve apostles; more than 500 Christian believers (most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote this, although some had died); James (Jesus’ brother); all the apostles; and finally Paul himself. The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact. Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection. Be filled with hope because of the knowledge that one day you, and they, will see the living proof when Christ returns. (For more evidence on the resurrection, see the chart.)

This James is Jesus’ half brother, who at first did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah (John 7:5). After seeing the resurrected Christ, he became a believer and ultimately a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13). James wrote the New Testament book of James.

Paul’s most important credential to be an apostle was that he was an eyewitness of the risen Christ (see Acts 9:3-6). “Abnormally born” means that his was a special case. The other apostles saw Christ in the flesh. Paul was in the next generation of believers—yet Christ appeared to him.

As a zealous Pharisee, Paul had been an enemy of the Christian church—even to the point of capturing and persecuting believers (see Acts 9:1-3). Thus, he felt unworthy to be called an apostle of Christ. Though undoubtedly the most influential of the apostles.

Paul wrote of working harder than the other apostles. This was not an arrogant boast, because he knew that his power came from God and that it really didn’t matter who worked hardest. Because of his prominent position as a Pharisee, Paul’s conversion made him the object of even greater persecution than the other apostles; thus, he had to work harder to preach the same message.

 

Lets Bring it Home: Paul was deeply humble. He knew that he had worked hard and accomplished much, but only because God had poured kindness and grace upon him. True humility is not convincing yourself that you are worthless

but recognizing God’s work in you. It is having God’s perspective on who you are and acknowledging his grace in developing your abilities.


Under Gods Command

 Dead to sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6:8-10 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 

 Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, his followers need never fear death.  That assurance frees us to enjoy fellowship with him and to do his will.  This will affect all our activities-work and worship, play, Bible study, quiet times, and times of caring for others.  When you know that you don’t have to fear death, you will experience a new vigor in life.

Lets Bring it Home:  Are you a just a Fan or follower of Jesus Christ?


Under Gods Command

John 16:12-13 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The truth into which the Holy Spirit guides us is the truth about Christ. The Spirit also helps us, through patient practice, to discern right from wrong.

Jesus said the Holy Spirit would tell them “what is yet to come”- the nature of their mission, the opposition they would face, and the final outcome of their efforts, they didn’t fully understand these promises until the Holy Spirit came after Jesus death and resurrection. Then the Holy Spirit revealed truths to the disciples that they wrote down in the books that now form the New Testament.