The Resurrection – God’s Answer to Modernism
I Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
The resurrection of Christ is fundamental to everything that is in the Bible. It is the main stumbling block to the Modernism taught and practiced to so many of our religious neighbors. If the resurrection can be proven, it establishes the supernatural. Even those modernists that try to deny the deity of Jesus admit that if the resurrection is true, there is proof of the supernatural. If Christ were raised from the dead, Christ is the Son of God. If he is the Son of God then God is. Only God would have made all the issues of all the Bible rest on one simple fact, the resurrection of Christ. Yet this is true. Prove the resurrection of Christ and all the rest of the Bible can be accepted without question. This is the reason for the importance of this study.
the so called modern theological theories are not really modern. They are as old as
ARGUMENTS FOR THE RESURRECTION
I Corinthians 15 is the greatest argument ever made on the subject of the resurrection. Paul’s argument for the resurrection is unanswerable. It is the most authoritative in history. This chapter removes the subject from theory to certainty. There may be questions as to the how but there are none left as to the fact.
Read again I Corinthians 15:1-4: Paul appeals to scripture. In spite of the probable knowledge of the Corinthians of pagan philosophy and human wisdom, Paul started with the scripture. We would do well to learn that we cannot improve on this approach.
The Old Testament is history written before it happened. The New Testament is history fulfilled.
His death was planned by God literally from the beginning of time:
Genesis “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” A mission declared complete in Hebrews 2:14
Spoken about many times and in many places by God’s messengers:
Psalms “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 16… they pierced my hands and my feet. 18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Facts recorded in Luke 23 and John 19. Witnessed by thousands in a setting where the greatest number of God’s people could possibly be collected in God’s own good time.
Luke “AND WHEN JESUS HAS CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, HE SAID, FATHER, INTO THY HAND I COMMEND MY SPIRIT: AND HAVING SAID THUS HE GAVE UP THE GHOST.”
Because a man named Joseph, of the
Jewish city of
Luke “AND HE TOOK IT DOWN, AND WRAPPED IT IN LINEN, AND LAID IT IN A SEPULCHRE THAT WAS HEWN IN STONE, WHEREIN NEVER MAN BEFORE WAS LAID.”
This is thorn in the side of all that deny the resurrection. The Romans declared him dead. They were there and responsible for his death and body. The tomb was sealed. There has never been a reasonable argument offered for the empty tomb. The resurrection is the only answer. Even his enemies did not deny that fact and paid the soldiers that watched his grave to lie about why the tomb was empty.
Matthew 28:12-13 “and when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.”
They were to tell that they went to sleep on the job and Jesus’ disciples stole his body, a lie that anyone with any knowledge of the consequences of sleeping on duty would have led to their execution. But Jesus’ body was not stolen, but just as was prophesied in Psalms 16, He was resurrected. The tomb sealed and guarded by the Roman government is empty; and even his enemies would not deny that he rose again.
Read I Corinthians 15:5-8 The word translated seen here is the one that always means to
see with the eye. So it is not a vision
or the understanding of perception but proof that Jesus was physically
seen. Now Paul calls his witnesses. Peter was known to the church at
Then Jesus appeared unto the two walking on the road to Emmaus, to the disciples in an assembly, probably to many others during the 49 days he was on earth after his resurrection even to as many as 500 at one time. His disciples no longer questioned the resurrection because they accepted the evidence provided to them by physical sight. With a witness list like this would it ever be thought that any court in the land would not confirm that Jesus rose? Yet many of those that make up the informal court of human reason will not accept it.
In his writing to the church at
THE RESURRECTION A DOCTRINAL NECESSITY
Paul, in this epistle, has confirmed the fact the Jesus arose, now he provides us with the interpretation of its meaning and the fact that it is the foundation of New Testament doctrine (teaching).
I Corinthians “AND IF CHRIST BE NOT RISEN, THEN is OUR PREACHING VAIN, AND YOUR FAITH is ALSO VAIN.”
If Jesus did not rise from the dead then the very work that Paul was doing was in vain, would serve no purpose, would be an empty lie that would not benefit anyone.
I Corinthians “YEA, AND WE ARE FOUND FALSE WITNESSES OF GOD; BECAUSE WE HAVE TESTIFIED OF GOD THAT HE RAISED UP CHRIST: WHOM HE RAISED NOT UP, IF SO BE THAT THE DEAD RISE NOT.”
If Christ is not risen they the very thing that Paul taught them was false, a lie, a deception that they should not have believed because the gospel would have no foundation in fact.
I Corinthians 15:16-17 “FOR IF THE DEAD RISE NOT, THEN IS NOT CHRIST RAISED: AND IF CHRIST BE NOT RAISED, YOUR FAITH is VAIN; YE ARE YET IN YOUR SINS.”
If Jesus did not rise from the dead then their faith has no basis, their faith has no foundation, their faith has no reason for existing, therefore they had no redemption, there was no sacrifice for their sins, their sins were not washed away by their baptism and they and we are still lost in sin. And then Paul tells us what that means:
I Corinthians 15:18-19 “THEN THEY ALSO WHICH ARE FALLEN ASLEEP IN CHRIST ARE PERISHED. IF IN THIS LIFE ONLY WE HAVE HOPE IN CHRIST, WE ARE OF ALL MEN MOST MISERABLE.”
We’re miserable, we are something to be pitied, we have no hope, we’ve been taken by absolutely the greatest scam that ever was visited upon mankind. When we’re dead we’re just like Rover, we’re dead all over, just throw the remains in a hole because all we are and all we ever will be is dust of the earth, dirt under somebody’s feet. But that’s awful, you say, that can’t be all there is to life. And you are right, it isn’t; because:
“BUT NOW IS CHRIST RISEN FROM THE DEAD, and BECOME THE FIRSTFRUITS OF THEM THAT SLEPT. FOR SINCE BY MAN came DEATH, BY MAN came ALSO THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. FOR AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE.” I Corinthians 15:20-22
Oh, that’s the reason that the Son of God had to come to this earth, be born in the same fashion as a human being and live as a man. Through the first man Adam, came the sin that condemns mankind for all ages, then through that man Jesus of Nazareth, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin by a miracle performed by God to provide the only sacrifice that could take away the sins that condemn our souls.
I Corinthians 15:32-34 “IF AFTER THE MANNER OF MEN I HAVE FOUGHT
WITH THE BEASTS AT
Paul tells us in his writing in another place of all the things that he suffered in order to preach the good news of Jesus Christ and God’s new covenant with mankind. Now he asks, what good is this going to do me if Christ is not risen?
Just as we reviewed a few moments ago, if Christ is not risen it would serve no purpose, all his efforts were be worthless, completely done in vain. If this were true then we might as well join in with those that live a life of eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die and become just another little pinch of dirt under the feet of those that walk this earth.
I Corinthians 15:35-38 “BUT SOME man WILL SAY, HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED UP? AND WITH WHAT BODY DO THEY COME? Thou FOOL, THAT WHICH THOU SOWEST IS NOT QUICKENED, EXCEPT IT DIE: AND THAT WHICH THOU SOWEST, THOU SOWEST NOT THAT BODY THAT SHALL BE, BUT BARE GRAIN, IT MAY CHANCE OF WHEAT, OR OF SOME OTHER grain: BUT GOD GIVETH IT A BODY AS IT HATH PLEASED HIM, AND TO EVERY SEED HIS OWN BODY.”
Men have so many foolish questions. God has revealed himself to us, God has revealed His will to us, God has told us many things but there are some things that God decided that we don’t need to know in order to serve Him. Just as there were many signs and wonders that Jesus did that were not recorded (John -31) God has told us what we needed to know but he didn’t tell us everything. But the holy spirit through the instrument of Paul the apostle does tell us this: the seed we sow has to die before it can live again in the form of a plant that is purposeful in the earth. The seed that we plant does not in any form look like the stalk that it produces because God gives it a body such as pleases him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all we had to do go grow a crop would be to set aside the seed and then a little later go back and find a bushel of grain? Think of all that backbreaking work we could avoid. In the parallel given to us by God through the Holy Spirit and the instrument of writing that Paul used tells us that God will provide. God will allow our bodies to die and be planted in this earth and he will rise up fruit from that planting of the nature, form and substance that he chooses, just as He does for the grains of the field. That is what happened to Jesus, He is our example, He is our proof, His witnesses were many and that’s all we need to know.
THE EFFECT OF THE RESURRECTION
The resurrection is the very foundation of our faith. It is the very foundation of all of the teaching that Jesus did whether himself or through his disciples. When he was asked for a sign to prove that he was the Son of God Jesus replied:
Matthew 12:38-40 “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40For 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.”
The resurrection of Jesus is the sign that confirms or verifies that Jesus was indeed who he said that he was, the Son of God.
The resurrection of Jesus is God’s way of saying, in language that the world cannot misunderstand without help, that Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary was indeed everything that he claimed to be. The Son of God, the Messiah promised to be brought through the seed of Abraham, prophesied of by many, sought after by multitudes, the Savior of mankind from the effect of their sin and the world’s only hope for a home in glory with God in the hereafter.
The resurrection changed Jesus followers forever. They were frightened men, scattered, several went back to their fishing business (John 21:2ff). But Jesus appeared to them, taught them, strengthened them to the purpose for which they were chosen (Luke 24:13-31). But the knowledge of His resurrection, the confirmation that His words were true made them men such as Peter and John who stood before the Sanhedrin and declared that they could do nothing but proclaim His teaching. (Acts ) Because of his resurrection they knew that they must obey God rather than man even unto death if necessary (Acts -30).
The resurrection changed the entire
world’s concept of immortality. In all
the religions of mankind down through the ages there was no hope. Even in the religion of
“…HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US.” Hebrews 9:12
Now let’s turn and read Hebrews 7:19-24.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is our surety, our guarantee, the stamp or seal of God’s promise that men have a covenant with the Creator and Ruler of this universe that transcends time and overcomes all that would prevent our enjoying eternity with Him, even death.
Romans 8:38-39 “FOR I AM PERSUADED, THAT NEITHER DEATH; NOT LIFE, NOR ANGELS, NOR PRINCIPALITIES, NOR POWERS, NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, NOR HEIGHT, NOR DEPTH, NOR ANY OTHER CREATURE SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.”
The resurrection is the assurance that there will be a judgment day.
Acts 17:30-31 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
The resurrection changed death from a dead end street, a prison from which we would never escape or be released to but a period of time that may be endured because it has an end. Following the description of the seed being required to die in order for new life to be raised speaking of our physical bodies Paul tells us:
“SO ALSO IS THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. IT IS SOWN IN CORRUPTION; IT IS RAISED IN INCORRUPTION: IT IS SOWN IN DISHONOUR; 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. THERE IS A NATURAL BODY AND THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY.” I Corinthians 15:42-44
THE INCENTIVES OF THE RESURRECTION
Paul in his writing didn’t just stop with his explanation of the resurrection and his assurance that his teaching was true; he also provided us some other things to think about. I Corinthians “THEREFORE, MY BELOVED BRETHREN,” because the teaching about the resurrection is true, because there is a home in heaven to gain and a devils hell to escape then:
“BE YE STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE”
Don’t let anyone or anything move you away from your dedication to God, because Jesus said:
Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Revelation 21:7 “HE THAT OVERCOMETH SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS: AND I WILL BE HIS GOD, AND HE SHALL BE MY SON.”
II Peter 1:10-11 “Wherefore
the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance
shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the
II Thessalonians “BUT YE BRETHREN, BE NOT WEARY IN WELL DOING.”
The resurrection is an incentive for constant, continued spiritual growth. If we understand it and believe it then we surely will not become one who will go through spells of time when we’re indifferent to the will of God, sporadic in our work for the church and our worship of God.
The word abounding means to flow over the edges. We’re like David:
Psalms 23:4-5 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
We fear nothing in this world, because nothing in this world can keep us from our eternal destiny, unless we let it. We are not captured by the wants, cares and problems of this world because our stay here is only temporary we have a better home we’re going to. Our focus is on heaven and the rewards we will receive there as God’s children because our life is dedicated to:
“…HIM THAT IS ABLE TO KEEP YOU FROM FALLING, AND TO PRESENT YOU FAULTLESS BEFORE THE PRESENCE OF HIS GLORY WITH EXCEEDING JOY,” Jude
“IN THE WORK OF THE LORD, FORASMUCH AS YE KNOW THAT YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD.” I Corinthians 15:58
If we truly believe in the resurrection; that we will be raised to meet our Savior in the air our work, or service will be bountiful, remembering that John tells us that our life for Christ is not something that we are but rather something that we do:
I John “…BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER.”