1 Corinthians 15:1-23
Stephen Caswell © 2000
"He's Dead Now, but He'll Be Back." /-- Robert Russell/
A Church held their annual Easter pageant.
A 5 year-old boy was enthralled with the drama.
When the crucifixion scene took place, he got real quiet.
But then Jesus came back from the grave and there was a song of celebration and his eyes lit up.
He looked at his mother and said, "He's alive, Mom.
He's alive!" and began to clap.
And he hugged her around the neck.
It was fun to see somebody understand the resurrection for the first time.
A youth minister from a near by church heard of this and related his own experience.
He said, I want to tell you what happened in our church.
We showed an animated video of the crucifixion and resurrection to our kindergarten students.
When Jesus was buried, one little boy who knew the story pretty well turned to his buddy and said, He's dead now, but he'll be back./
The Old Testament prophets foretold Christ's resurrection.
Jesus Himself said that He would rise the third day.
The resurrection was God crowning His Son for His work of salvation.
In the Christian Church today great emphasis is made upon the crucifixion of Christ, yet little is said of His resurrection.
But to separate the resurrection from the crucifixion is to deny the cross it's victory and power.
The Corinthian Church was saved out of Greek philosophy and mysticism.
The Greeks didn't believe in the resurrection of the body.
This error had crept into the Church at Corinth.
So Paul wrote to the Corinthians more on this subject than to any other Church.
Tonight's passage on the resurrection can be divided into 3 main parts.
The Proof II.
The Problem III.
The Proof -/ //We Preach Christ's Resurrection/
New Testament Proclaimed/*
*1 Corinthians 15:1-2* /Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain./
Paul reminded them of the Gospel that he had previously preached to them.
/What was the outcome of the message?/
They were gloriously saved.
They heard the good news, received it and believed it.
In fact they had come to stand on the foundation of Christ's completed work.
The words by which also/ you are saved/ are in the present tense showing God's ongoing work of sanctification in their lives.
The Gospel or good news reveals how Jesus Christ died for our sins.
He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Old Testament Prophecy/*
*1 Corinthians 15:3-4* /For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,/
In verses 3 and 4 Paul tells them that he is passing on the same message that he himself had heard and received.
/Where did his message come from?/
The Scriptures. /What Scriptures is Paul referring to?
Is it the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark Luke and John?/
No they hadn't been written yet.
Paul was referring to the Old Testament that foretold of Christ's death and resurrection.
Peter continually used the Old Testament to prove that Jesus was the Messiah.
Christ had taught them this way after His resurrection.
*Luke 24:25-27, 44-46*
/Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Then He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,/
*1 Corinthians 15:5-8* /and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time./
Christ's death was openly displayed and therefore seen by many.
This fact cannot be denied.
He was buried in the tomb and remained there till the third day.
/But what about his resurrection?
Did anyone see Christ after His resurrection?
/Yes there were many witnesses.
The guards at the tomb were the first to see Christ's resurrection and the empty tomb.
They told the chief priests who paid them to lie and say the disciples stole His body while they slept.
What a crazy story.
Does anyone know what happens to them when they sleep.
Then Christ appeared at least ten times over the next 40 days.
Five of those appearances are recorded here.
Then, afterward Jesus Christ appeared unto Paul on the Damascus Road.
There were more than 500 witnesses who saw Christ after the resurrection.
/Why didn't Christ appear to Israel again?/
We don't know why.
They probably wouldn't have believed anyhow.
God has His reasons.
*Acts 10:39-41* /“And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree.
“Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, “not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us *who ate and drank with Him* after He arose from the dead/.
God's Work /
*1 Corinthians 15:11*/ Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed./
The result of the apostles witness was that many believed in Christ and were saved.
They were convinced and shared this with others.
The faith of millions gives further proof to the veracity of the message.
Millions of people believed the message risking their lives for their new faith.
People don't risk their lives for lies.
Church history reveals how millions have boldly stood firm upon the sure resurrection of Jesus Christ.
They have overcome every trial through Christ's victory.
*Christ's resurrection guarantees their resurrection!
Christ's Resurrection the Wings of Eternity
In the midst of a storm, a little bird was clinging to the limb of a tree, seemingly calm and unafraid.