The Resurrection of the Dead

This morning we want to talk about one of the most important teachings of the Bible, read with me:

Rom. 1:1-4

1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

We are talking about the Resurrection of Christ, and our own resurrection from the dead.  The two are tired together.   Paul writes:

1 Cor. 15:3-4

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The resurrection of the dead is one of the most important doctrines of the gospel.  Paul said he received it, along with that of the death and burial of Christ, and devoted one whole chapter to the proof of it (1 Cor. 15).  Unbelievers have always denied the resurrection, for no one can admit that and consistently deny any or all the other miracles of the Bible.

Some say the resurrection of the body is a “scientific impossibility.”  We are told that the body decays and returns to its primary chemical elements, which in turn becomes parts of other bodies, therefore, its resurrection is a scientific impossibility.

The resurrection of Christ IS a scientific impossibility.   The forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ IS a scientific impossibility.  Shall we reject these doctrines?  But who knows what is impossible with God?  A thing impossible to scientists is not necessarily impossible for God to do.  Jesus said:

Matt. 22:29

“You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

Some say the resurrection of the body is not needed because the spirit is given a new and heavenly body when it leaves our earthy body.  If it is given at the time it leaves this body, it is impossible for them to believe in a future general resurrection.

Others say the spirit of man will be given this new incorruptible body at the end of time, at the coming of Christ.   And the giving of this new body, which has no connection whatever with the one buried, is a resurrection. Holding this view, they can believe in something future, but is it a resurrection?

It is NOT a resurrection.  Something which has had no previous existence cannot be resurrected.  God did not bring Adam into the world by a resurrection;  it was a creation.  If another body is given the spirt at the coming of Christ, that body will have to be created, not resurrected.

It is NOT a resurrection of the dead if the new body which some say is resurrected is not a resurrection of the dead, for that body not having a previous existence, could not be viewed as dead.

If some view the resurrection as the spirit coming into a fuller life, it is still not a resurrection of the dead, for the spirit has not been dead.

So the man who denies the resurrection of the body, which is the only part of man that dies, simply does not believe in the resurrection of the dead.  Only that which dies can be resurrected.  The spirit of man does not die.  Therefore, the spirit cannot be resurrected.

And if we are given a new body which has no connection whatever with this earthy body, we could not speak of it as a resurrected body, since it has never died.

Look again at what Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:

1 Cor. 15:3-4

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Paul says that he delivered nothing to them on the subject but that which he had received.  In another place he reveals the source even more plainly

Gal. 1:12

12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Paul says “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” telling us plainly that our sins made it necessary for Christ to die; the death of Christ was necessary to make atonement for our sins, to make it possible for God to forgive us on any conditions.

If it were not for the death of Christ in our behalf, it would be impossible for us to meet any conditions or perform any obedience which would make it possible for God to forgive us.  Jesus was set forth as the propitiation for our sins that God might “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26).

You see the point?  CHRIST died for our sins.  If he DID NOT die, he could NOT have been resurrected.

The resurrection of Christ depends upon the fact of his death, and that is the reason Paul mentions his death in this chapter on the resurrection.

Paul says he received from the Lord the fact that Jesus died; he did not feign death.  So the resuscitation theory of unbelievers is contrary to the revelation Paul received from the Lord.

Paul says that “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”  The death of Christ was foretold by the prophets.  The prophecy concerning the suffering servant gives details of the death of Christ (Isaiah 53).

Isaiah 53:4-5

4 ¶ Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

Many of the offerings made by the Jews were types of the death of Christ and must be regarded as preparing people to understand the purpose and efficacy of the death of Christ.

For example, under the Old Covenant the Jewish High Priest wore beautiful, clean, holy linen cloth while performing the rituals on the Day of Atonement. Jesus was clothed with his own righteousness.

Blood was a necessary part of their sacrifices. On the Day of Atonement it was the blood of animals that was used to cleanse and purify. These animals had to be without spot or blemish, but they were really not worth the value of a human being. Jesus came offering the sacrifice of his own blood, and his life was infinite in worth.

The scapegoat provides another interesting analogy. The scapegoat is the one that carried away the sins of the people. Likewise it is Jesus who carries away our sins. He makes forgiveness possible, and forgiveness is the taking away of sin.

All of this to remind us that Peter declares that the death of Jesus was according to the “predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).

Paul says that “He was buried.”  His burial attests to the fact of his death.  His side being pierced by the soldier, there can be no doubt of the reality of his death.  But if any are inclined to doubt still, his burial for three days should remove all doubts.

And Paul further says – “He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  Here Paul says that he received his message concerning the resurrection of Christ from the Lord himself.

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