Monday, November 2, 2015

The Resurrection

The most central part of Christian doctrine.  

Setting:  Jesus is dead - on the cross

The Burial - Matt. 27:57-61 - Joseph of Arimethea - unused tomb probably very close by.  The women saw where He was laid.

The Guard - Matt. 27:62-66 - seal on stone.  Roman soldier posted as guard.  Anyone breaking the seal would face SEVERE punishment.

The Resurrection - John 20:1-20 - early Sunday morning.  The one Jesus loved = John (author of this book)
Cloth folded up, napkin folded separately at head - doesn't speak of "stolen".  Brothers = disciples.  He saw and believed - what? - most likely that the body was really gone as Mary had said. 

The Nature of the Resurrection
It was not just "back from the dead" or "alive again".  Was infinitely more than that.
It was #1 in a glorified body - no longer subject to age, disease, death
          #2 an eternal state - transformed AND perfected - will be this state forever!!

On one hand, resurrected body was clearly physical, BUT also capable of "de-materializing".
It was a continuity of the original, BUT not always recognizable
Luke 24:36-43          Resurrected body - "mystery"

The Message of the Resurrection
Again, was more than alive again, overcame death, glorified body!!!
The message is:  HE IS RISEN AND REIGNING!!!! 

The Importance of the Resurrection
(an abbreviated summary from 1 Cor. 15)
"if Christ has not been raised ..... your faith is useless"
 ie:  unfounded - ineffective for salvation, transformation, etc.  - foolish
Have no more reason to believe in a dead prophet than does anyone else to believe in their dead prophet.  No point in gathering together on Sunday morning if He didn't rise as the risen LORD!

The Significance, relevance of the Resurrection ... TO US!!

Because He Rose...... 

#1 - we can be sure of His identity - Rom. 1:4 - was declared to be the Son of God BY the resurrection.  Is very, very important - question still today is:  Who was this Jesus?
#2 - We can trust His teaching(s)
         on moral issues, on life/death questions - example:  John 14:6 - only way?  = only one reason to believe this because of the man who said it - the resurrected man.   The guy who said to do these things is the ONLY one who rose from the dead.
#3.  we can trust Him
These are more than the teachings of a dead prophet - He = ALIVE & INTERACTIVE (involved in our lives)
When you follow Jesus, He will never hurt you, will make you, develop you, and sometimes may be a lot of pain in this developing, but He will not HURT you!

Therefore - because He IS involved in our lives -
He confronts, corrects, comforts, encourages, leads, instructs, etc., through His Word, Spirit, PRESENCE

Resurrection also offers us:

#4.  Confidence to face death - with no fear - our own and others who are Christians

#5.  Great Expectations after death - "HOPE"
1 Cor. 15:20-26
1 John 3:2 - we will be like Him
#6.  Encouragement to persevere until death
1 Cor. 15:1-57 0 Resurrection - His and ours ....   NOTE:  1 Cor. 15:8 - "therefore stand firm"

Question:  Where do you stand in terms of Relevance?
Are you - 1) certain of His identity? have you acknowledged that? professed that?  followed in believers' baptism?

                2) trusting His Word(s)?
                3)  following Him?  (seek His Presence, voice, Spirit?)
                4)  confident in your salvation - AT death?   AFTER death? 
                5)  committed to service until then?

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