Summary: The Resurrection, New Bodies, Power of God
THE RESURRECTION QUESTION - How Are the Dead Raised?
1 Corinthians 15:35-49 (p. 801) April 9, 2017
There aren't many funerals that I do where I don't share one of my favorite stories about one of my favorite preachers.
My Dad's favorite show when we were growing up was “Hee Haw.” By you knowing this you might get a little glimpse into my heritage. My Mom was born in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. My dad was born in Asheville North Carolina but grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and then in Rock Hills SC. I was born and raised in Lexington, KY, but my roots are deeply “countryfied.” I loved watching Hee Haw with Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones, Miss LuLu, Buck Owens and Roy Clark. My Dad took special note of the Hee Haw Honeys…but my favorite person on the show was a preacher named Grady Nutt. He would talk about making calls in the country and he said, “I always carried around a 97 pound Scotfield Reference Bible…not for spiritual reasons, but so I could defend myself from farm dogs.” Grady’s humor reminded me a lot of my preacher, Wayne Smith. I thought Grady Nutt was hilarious.
In November of 1982 his plane crashed while returning from a revival in Calmaw Alabama. Everyone on board was killed. He was 48 years old.
At his funeral they told stories and jokes and celebrated his joyful life. As his best friend gave the eulogy…He shared the hope we have in Christ, Grady’s hope. He closed by saying, “Y’all know Grady ain’t here…only his shell…the Nutt has gone home!.”
He was speaking an important truth. This body we live in is just a shell. These bodies we live in now are just temporary. They get sick, they break down, they get old and they die. They are not designed to house an eternal soul for eternity. And every single person has an eternal soul which gives life to these temporary bodies.
The Apostle Paul shares this exact same truth in 2 Corinthians 5:1, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
Tents are temporary. They are designed for camping out…for soldiers at war, or a couple of days at the lake. No one really wants to live in a tent for too long…winds shake them, rain soaks them…bears think they’re sandwich wrappers. After about 3 days they smell like old sweat socks…and it’s time to go home.
So as the Apostle Paul deals with the resurrection in his letter to the Corinthians…He deals with questions concerning this body we live in. Shells and tents versus an eternal home. Here’s what he writes:
“But someone may ask How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?” (v. 35)
Folks, despite what you’ve been told, there are:
I. STUPID QUESTIONS
Do you remember sitting in class and the teacher saying, “Now there are no stupid questions,” and then someone would ask a question and everyone in class, including her, knew she was wrong.
[Kari and I were going through a tour of Mammoth Cave…we loved it, but I gave the Ranger a hard time all through the tour…and he gave it right back. We had a blast with each other…but at the end of the day as we got ready to exit, he asked “Do any of you have any questions” and my hand shot up. I told Kari, “Watch this.” She rolled her eyes…and as the ranger looked at me he rolled his and said “Yes" and I asked him "if all of the cave was underground,” and he cracked up…left character for a moment… and said and I quote…"Yes stupid, it’s a cave, its all underground.”
Paul has been dealing with resurrection questions. He's taken us on an underground tour…and here's a Rick paraphrase of a question he's dealing with.
"Some of you might be laughing at the idea that these temporary bodies have any long term significance…you think it’s a joke and sarcastically ask…If the dead are raised what kind of bodies will they have…won't they stink? They're gonna look pretty ugly and zombie like, aren't they? Partially decaying, bones sticking out…why would I want to be resurrected and have to walk around in that condition?
Here's Ranger Paul's answer:
1 CORINTHIANS 15:36-44 (p. 801)
Paul says: “it’s a stupid question” when you plant a seed in the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant, unless it dies. What you put in the ground will be radically transformed when it comes out of the ground.
If a seed gets a new “body,” don’t you believe people will get a new body too? God gives it a body as He has determined and to each kind of seed He gives it’s own body.