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“Everything Hinges on the Resurrection”

sermons June 9, 16 (Resurrection Hope) all from 1 Corinthians 15

Reverse the Curse!

How is it that everything hinges on the resurrection?

The apostle Paul, under divine inspiration lays out the case in very precise language, as only Paul can do. First, he starts with what the gospel is - with what the gospel’s essential, defining parts are - that according to the Scriptures, Christ died for ours sins, was buried, and was then raised from the dead three days later. A firm grasp of that ensures a person of at least understanding what the components of the gospel are, whether you believe them or not. There does need to be some historical context however to truly understand what those three statements fully mean, but that is for another conversation.

Paul then puts all of his theological-argument eggs in one basket. The simple logic is that if the gospel is preached but Christ was not raised from the dead, then it’s all rubbish, fake news. If Christ was not raised from the dead, our subsequent faith and all it requires and entails, is all a waste of time and concern – none of it is true and reality as we’ve come to know it is TOTALLY different. However, that Jesus WAS raised from the dead confirms that there IS a general resurrection from the dead for all, and that all that Jesus taught and did is true. Why is this the conclusion? I believe it all has to do with the uniqueness of the incarnation of Christ. In taking on human flesh, He subjected Himself to all conditions of humanity, and in taking our sin onto Himself He suffered the same fate all who feel the curse of sin do (even though He Himself was sinless in practice, He became subject to death), but death could not contain Him, but three days.

There were those who said there is no resurrection. And in the defense of those who lived prior to Jesus walking the earth, there was no reason to believe there was. Well if there is no resurrection, then Christ wasn’t raised from the dead. So, since He was in fact raised from the dead, it confirms there is a resurrection, Christ becoming the first fruits of that resurrection that all will be part of. The implications of His resurrection are completely pervasive just as the implications of Adam’s sin was. What Jesus did was Reverse the Curse! As all died because of the first Adam, now all will live again because of the last or second Adam, Jesus. Through one act of righteousness, His dying on the cross, there resulted justification of life to all men. Through one act of power, His rising from the dead, there resulted the resurrection of all men. (Rom. 5:12-21)

And now it is to be known everyone who dies will be resurrected (thanks to Jesus, the second Adam). In the same way sin came into the world through one man, so the cure for sin and its effects comes through one man, Jesus the Son of Man, a man. Moreover, we are told in no uncertain terms what this resurrection of Jesus’ means. It means He was just the first. All will be made alive through resurrection.

The curse has been reversed. All will be raised from the dead and what a shock that will be for some… How will it all take place? The order of the resurrection is sketched out here… Each in his own order; Christ is first {OK we got that} Next, those who are Christ’s at His return {everyone who belongs to Christ at the time of His second coming}. Then, the end. When the rest of the dead are raised. Then comes judgment. The second death.

Part of the end is that Jesus will hand over the kingdom (all souls who are His) to the Father when the second death is initiated and completed. Then there seems to be a coming together and God being all in all, with all things subjected to Him with no signs of division at all. The dead will be raised imperishable and we (those who happen to still be alive at His coming) will be changed. All must be changed. If you had died you must be resurrected with a glorious body. If you are one of that favored generation who is alive when Jesus returns you too will be transformed into indestructible bodies. But you will first witness the dead being raised indestructible, and then those alive will themselves become incapable of dying, being caught up to Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

It all hinges on the resurrection from the dead, Jesus being the first fruits and the first proof there is a resurrection.

You can end here or see a few more related thoughts…

Other implications This is such an important passage to begin to understand that there are distinct differences among creation and for good reason. That all life are made of the same ‘substance’ makes no sense and here in this chapter it is spelled out. There are spiritual beings but the spiritual never precedes the natural (46). Having been made uniquely in the image of God, we will also be uniquely in His image after death, after the resurrection. We will be given bodies unlike any other in creation for just that reason. And it will have the glory of the life-giving spirit, Jesus (45). We will bear the image of the One who saved us and in whose likeness we were made. (1 John 3:2)

This is pretty basic logic. In order to exist in a dimension heretofore unseen and unreachable, we must be changed. We must become of another making, another substance. The perishable must put on the imperishable. And that change will not take place over millions of years or even months or days but in the twinkling of an eye. How long does it take for you to blink? God will speak and it will be so. He spoke the universe into existence from nothing. He will speak everyone back to life into bodies that cannot be destroyed. This is of course good news for some and not so good news for others, depending where you’re spending that time in your indestructible body…

Death will be swallowed up in victory!!!

O death where is your sting???

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