2017-04-16 – 1 Cor 15:12-20 – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

2017-04-16 – 1 Cor 15:12-20 – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, pg 176

Welcome you to our Resurrection Sunday service. This is the day we celebrate Jesus rising from the grave and defeating death. For a Christian, this most important day in all history. He is Risen indeed.

In Last week’s Palm Sunday message, the Jews at Jerusalem waved Palm branches welcoming King Jesus into the city saying “Hosanna in the Highest”. It was the start of what we now celebrate as Passion Week.

We concluded the message with a somber yet relevant video, entitled It’s Friday but Sundays Coming. Jesus was placed into the tomb; and a rock was rolled into place, and soldiers stood guard. So poignant, and although it may be difficult to comprehend, it is important for us to know what transpired, as it is all true. But as Paul Harvey used to say “And now the rest of the Story”

Our SAVIOR Jesus Christ has risen from the grave. Today we are going to read and reflect a little on that Resurrection. Why is it important?  How do we apply this to our lives..
Then we are going to actually navigate through one version of that His-Story from the book of Luke.. I pray that you will enlightened, inspired, and be blessed.

Hold up your Bibles as it is – The Inspired, Infallible, Living Word of God
Turn if you will to 1 Cor 15:12 – The Resurrection of the Dead – PAGE 176 

To set the stage for our first verses today, you should know Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul as he is addressing the Corinthian church in a letter. Corinth was one of the most wicked cities of ancient times and the church was surrounded by heathen customs and practices. Many of its members had but recently been converted to Christianity and the church was far from ideal shape. Unfavorable news had come to Paul concerning the church, so he wrote them this letter to clarify and instruct on certain controversial issues.

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.   – PRAY –

So Paul is saying here.. If Jesus didn’t rise from the grave.. Then our faith in Him is worth nothing. There would be no messiah savior, and even my preaching to you this morning would be worthless.

The Corinthians were a new church, surrounded by all types of sin and evil. They were largely converted Christians, but they were waffling in their faith and they were questioning life after death, and being thousands of miles away from Jerusalem with no internet, they reached out to Paul for answers.

You see if Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, then how could anyone trust all the other teachings and testimonies of Jesus. Jesus said He was God in the flesh, creator, sustainer and savior. If he didn’t defeat death, than it was all a lie.

 

I love Paul’s answer as it says here in verse 20.. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead”  And for that I say Hallelujah, AMEN?

 

So in honor of that fact, this morning we are going to take a little time to read through and learn what God’s Word says actually happened that most auspicious Sunday in history.

 Turn with me to Luke 24 – Page 90.. 

Well at this point in the text, as I said earlier, Jesus had died on the cross, been put in the tomb and the stone was rolled over the entrance. There were guards placed outside it and there was a long, long night of grieving. The women who saw the tomb went and prepared spices and ointments.

I have a picture of what is believed to be the actual open Tomb of Jesus in the garden in Jerusalem

 Luke 24 – The Resurrection of Jesus
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.
The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

The Walk to Emmaus
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them,16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25 Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples
36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Praise the Lord! This is an historical set of miracles. This is the most important event since the creation of man. Nobody refutes that fact that Jesus Christ was alive. Nobody refutes that fact that He died on the cross. Nobody refutes the fact that the stone was rolled away and the grave was empty. And If Christ did not rise from the grave then none of what He said previously would be considered valid or true.

Although the reading of this message seemed like Jesus only had a brief stay, He actually stayed with them for 40 days until He ascended into Heaven. Many people witnessed Jesus alive after His resurrection. The Bible tells us that Jesus appeared in the flesh, first to the Women, then Apostles, then Disciples, and according to 1 Cor 15:6, “even to a crowd of 500, most of whom were still alive” at the time Paul wrote that letter.

In those 40 days, Jesus taught them, had fellowship with them, and caretakenly prepared them for His Great Commission before He finally ascended into Heaven.
Jesus was alive then.. and He is still alive today. To that I say Praise the Lord..

You see unlike other religions, we have a Risen Living Savior..
Buddha died and he is dead. Mohamad died and he is dead.. Krishna died and is dead.. Only Jesus Christ is the Living God.. who we can have an active and personal relationship with.. And you know what, He just loves you so much..

I heard about a Teacher a while back that gave the students the task of writing a paper about Greatest living person. One wrote about Neal Armstrong the first man on the moon, One wrote about Muhammad Ali who he thought was the greatest boxer of all time, and One student wrote about Jesus. The teacher said it was a good paper, but it was supposed to be about somebody that was still living.. the student said, “teacher, Jesus is alive”.

Do you believe that Jesus is Alive?  That is the key Question..

And if you believe Jesus is alive are you willing to live for Him, and if need be even die for Him?

Are you willing to let Him have every talent, every virtue, your wealth, everything you have, are you willing to lay it on the line for Him saying, Jesus I give it all to You. And if you are – willing, I have some great news.. you can have a very positive self-image going forward, because if Jesus is the most important person in your life, then you will begin to redefine yourself based on what Jesus thinks of you. And here is the good news.. Jesus thinks your terrific. He really does..
You might say “not me you don’t know the sin in my life”.. Well you don’t know the sin in my life..

If YOU KNEW the sin in my life YOU wouldn’t be here listening to me today..
But don’t go getting all uppity on me, cuz if I knew the sin in your life I wouldn’t even talk to you, lol.  By the way that was a joke..

But here’s the Good News of the gospel.. Jesus doesn’t see my sin anymore.. In the book of Hebrews, chapter 8, there is this wonderful passage that says Jesus doesn’t even remember your sin no more. Isn’t that a great.. We not only have a God that forgives, we have a God that forgets. That’s what the bible means when it says: I stand before Him clothed in His righteousness.

If there was no resurrection then there is no Savior..

That is why we call the Gospel or The Good News!  Jesus is Alive, and because of that we can have hope in Him. And that my dear friends is “the rest of the story”

John 11:25 Jesus talking to Martha said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Do you believe like Martha? Will you choose to call Jesus your Messiah/Savior?

The music group Casting Crowns has a song called Glorious Day.
Living He loved me, dying He saved me. Buried He carried, my sins far away. Rising He justified freely forever. One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day,..

I love Billy Graham’s quote here.

“I have never known a man who received Christ and ever regretted it.”

Do you want to go to Heaven?  There is a way..  Through Christ Jesus..

If the Lord Jesus Christ, our Messiah, the Risen and Living Savior King causes you to step forward today.. This is the time you do just that..
Let Us Pray:   Heavenly Father..