Christ’s Resurrection Guarantees Ours

17 April 2022 AM – 1Corinthians 15:20-23 – Resurrection – Scott Childs
Introduction: From a human perspective, resurrection from the dead is impossible and incredible. After Christ’s resurrection, His close disciples did not believe when the women told them what the angels said. Thomas refused to believe without proof. (John 20:24-28) “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.“. After Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17:32-34), we are told, “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
The resurrection IS humanly incomprehensible and biologically impossible, but God in heaven, who is Creator of all and sustainer of all, is sovereign over even the laws of nature. The resurrection of a body that has been dead six minutes, six years or six millennium is within His power. Whether a body has turned to dust, been burned to ashes or been eaten by a creature, God is able to collect every atom on resurrection day. Believers, hundreds of years before Christ, believed that God would resurrect them. (Ps 49:15) “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.” (Isa 26:19) “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Dan 12:2) “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Transition: This morning we are going to look at proof that Christ resurrected and the guarantee that this gives us of our resurrection.
  1. Christ IS risen from the dead
a.         This is an established fact
1)         Paul presented solid evidence that Christ rose from the dead (v.3-19).
a)         He cited OT scriptures (v.4), possibly (Ps 16:10) “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
b)         He listed eyewitnesses: Cephas, the disciples, 500 brethren at once, James and Paul himself (v.5-8).
2)         He reasoned that if Christ was not risen, then preaching is in vain and so is our faith (v.14).
3)         If Christ is still dead, we are yet in our sins (v.17).
4)         If the Christian faith is ONLY in this life, we are of all men most miserable (v.19). We are to be pitied.
b.         Christ is the firstfruit of more to come (v.20).
1)         Christ IS risen from the dead. He rose bodily from the dead. His followers saw and touched his resurrected body. We serve a living Saviour. He is now on the right hand of the Father in heaven.
2)         He is the firstfruit of the harvest assuring us that others will resurrect just as He did.
2.        Through the God/Man came resurrection
a.         Through man came death to humans (v.21)
1)         By man came death (v.21). The next verse identifies that man as Adam (v.22).
2)         While Adam was yet perfect and innocent, God warned him that if he ate of the forbidden tree, he would die. (Gen 2:17) “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
3)         Sadly, Eve then Adam did eat of that fruit and instantly died spiritually and began to die physically. Adam lived 930 years, but he has been dead for more than 5,000 years. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Yes, Adam’s sin brought death to all his descendants.
4)         Death is a feared enemy because it seems so permanent. Loved ones, friends, neighbours, and acquaintances who have died are gone from this life forever. However, the Lord assures us that physical death is not the end. (John 5:28-29) “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
b.         Through the God/Man came resurrection.
1)         Jesus Christ, the God/Man, is called the last Adam (v.45). He was not just a perfect man as cults teach. He was God in human flesh (Jn 1:14; Php 2:5-11).
2)         In God’s perfect plan, He determined that the only way to provide resurrection for the sinful descendants of Adam, Jesus, God the Son, must become a man, die and be the first to resurrect with an immortal body.
a)         Thus, verse 21 reads, “For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus Christ] came also the resurrection of the dead.
b)         Therefore, verse 22 reads, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
3)         Just as Adam’s death passed death on to all men, so Christ’s resurrection made resurrection available to all men. The Apostle concludes this chapter with these words, (1Cor 15:54-57) “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
3.        God’s plan of resurrection is orderly
a.         Christ was the firstfruit
1)         He was the first to resurrect with an immortal body.
2)         He was the firstfruit of immortality. Just as the first ripe apple on a tree is just the beginning of many more to come, so Christ’s resurrection led the way for all of His followers to one day be resurrected.
b.         Those belonging to Christ will follow.
1)         All who place their trust in Him, He will also resurrect.
2)         The fact that He is alive assures Christians that He can and will resurrect them.
3)         This gives every true Christian living hope (1Pet 1:3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively [living] hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4)         We may wish that resurrection could take place moments after death so that we might not have to endure the pain of saying goodbye to loved ones, but that is not God’s plan. He has planned for the resurrection to take place at His coming (v.23, cf., 1Thes. 4:13-18). The Rapture, when Christ returns in the clouds to call His children to heaven will be a glorious day of meeting Christ and reuniting with Christian loved ones.
Conclusion: Christ’s resurrection was a miracle; but it is a fact. Old Testament prophets predicted it. Jesus predicted it. His close friends and 500 followers saw his resurrected body. His resurrection made possible our resurrection. His plan is orderly. He led the way and all who trust Him for salvation He will resurrect when He comes in the clouds at the Rapture. Will you be among them? If so, take time right now to thank God that Christ’s resurrection guarantees your resurrection.
            If you are not positive that you have trusted Christ to save your soul, He invites you to do so today. I would be happy to show you how if you let me know.
Song: He Lives! 132