Summary: A sermon on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 1 Corinthians 15:1-19.
Sermon for 3/9/2006
The Jesus seminary, a group of supposed Biblical scholars, says the following about the resurrection of Jesus: The resurrection of Jesus did not involve the resuscitation of his corpse. Belief in Jesus’ resurrection does not depend on what happened to his body. The body of Jesus decayed as do other corpses. The resurrection was not an event that happened on the first Easter Sunday. It is not necessary to believe in the historical narratives of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to be a Christian.
A. What a bunch of lies! The Bible reading this morning disproves all of these thoughts.
B. Greek thought and philosophy had the idea that the flesh was evil and corrupt. The spirit was eternal and the only thing real. A resurrection of the body (flesh) was not appealing to the Greeks. (Acts 17:31 NIV) For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."(Acts 17:32 NIV) When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered (mocked him, laughed at him).
C. The Corinthian Christians were so influenced by Greek philosophy that they tried to downplay the resurrection. They did not deny that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, but they denied that others would rise from the dead. “There is no resurrection of the dead.” The only exception to that rule is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
D. Paul’s message to them is, Don’t mess with the resurrection!
E. Christianity is based upon the fact of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Taking away from this even in a subtle way, puts cracks in the foundations of our faith.
F. In a churchyard in England, stands one of the largest trees in the country. It stands as a great four-trunked tree growing out of a grave. Legend says that the grave is that of Lady Anne Grimston. Lady Anne Grimston did not believe in life after death. It is reported that when she lay dying in her home, she remarked to a friend, “I shall live again as surely as a tree will grow from my body.” After her death, Lady Anne was buried in a marble tomb. The grave was then marked by a large marble slab and surrounded by an iron railing. Years later, the marble slab was found to be moved a little. After time, it was moved a lot and through the opening a small tree began to grow. The tree continued its growth, tilting the marble stone and breaking the marble until today it is surrounded the tomb with its roots and has torn the railing out of the ground with its massive trunks. To the unbeliever, this is only a coincidence. But to the believer, it is viewed as God’s work. God took her up on her challenge. A tree is literally growing from her body.
G. Prove it to me! Prove to me that Jesus Christ rose from the dead! I cannot do it 100% because this does not involve the scientific method and there will always be an element of faith in this. But Let’s give it a try!