Summary: Salvation, sin, death, victory, new life.
THE MYSTERY OF EASTER
1 Cor. 15: 50-59 (p815) April 24, 2011
It's just a normal Tuesday…you get up, take your shower…trying to be a little quite as you get dressed so your wife can sleep a little longer. You head downstairs and put the coffee one…after your second cup you head for the car…all the stuff you need to get done for the day is dancing around in your head and as you stuck the key into the car door…
There is a thundering trumpet blast…not like anything you've heard in band practice, but a glorious sounds that vibrates through every fiber of your body…you are driven to your knees by its shear power, as an angelic voice announces…."The King of Kings and the Lord of Lord"…you look to the sky as it opens…its sounds like the ripping of a million bed sheets all being torn at once…its blinding, its glorious in its heavenly splendor as Jesus appears…and at first that moment your body is transformed…in the blink of an eye…everything changes within you…in that blinding flash of glory, your body has gone from temporary to eternal…from mortal to immortal…its beyond anything you could have ever imagined, and could have hoped for….
And you know without a doubt this is no normal Tuesday…nor will there ever be a normal Tuesday again.
"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…"
The story of Easter has all the trappings of a great Mystery: Intrigue, shady characters, betrayed, murder, and ending that leaves things unfinished…and you wanting more.
The Pharisees and Jewish leadership have developed a plot in order to kill Jesus…Judas and insider is bought off and agrees to deliver Jesus into their hands…there is a Kangaroos court…in fact 2 of them…where witnesses are persuaded into lying…Government officials are used for this nefarious plot…both Herod and Pilate…
Jesus is handed over…beaten, crucified and buried…but then the twist…the resurrection. He comes back…for 40 days he walks the earth…he's touched by his disciples, he prepares them for the future…hundreds are witnesses of this event…and then as hundreds watch….including his disciples.
"He was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud his him from their sight.
They were looking intently into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them…"Men of Galilee", they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1: 9-11)
So when the Apostle Paul writes in our text "Listen, I tell you a mystery" He's giving us a glimpse into the conclusion of C. S. I. Jerusalem. and the conclusion is "Out of this world"
For those who belong to Christ…It's
I THE DAY OF OUR INHERTANCE
It's important for us to remember that salvation isn't a reward…it’s a gift. A gift from God that no one deserves and no one can ear. "Because of His great Love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgression ---it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast" ( Eph 2: 4-6, 8-9
Our inheritance is a gift…it's not something we worked for…its provided for us by the work of another….Jesus. We are purchased by His shed blood…God, who is rich in mercy, wrote the check for the payment of all sin…We were dead in our transgressions…bankrupt spiritually…homeless and hopeless "But God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" ( Romans 5:8)
Faith is accepting the gift…faith is dying to that old life, to be reborn as God's child…faith is letting the Holy Spirit sign your adoption papers…faith isn't working your way to heaven…but showing that heaven is at work in you.
Flesh and blood can't inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable…so one the day Jesus returns…when that trumpet sounds…"The dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed" (V52)
How will we be changed? Paul's already used the example of a seed planted in the ground bursting forth into beautiful new life…you'd never look at a tomato seed and a tomato plant and think they were anything alike.