Summary: Sermon 15 of 16 on 1 Corinthians. Death and Taxes are inevitable – wrong! I believe it was Ben Franklin who said that death and taxes were inevitable. Well, he was wrong! Only Taxes are inevitable!
Death and Taxes are inevitable – wrong!
I believe it was Ben Franklin who said that death and taxes were inevitable. Well, he was wrong! Only Taxes are inevitable!
Death has been defeated –
finally, thoroughly, irrevocably, and perpetually.
This is the good new about Jesus!
Good News: Jesus was Resurrected from the Dead
Jesus has defeated the most terrifying of all our enemies – death
Death has been defeated through his resurrection from the grave. Jesus died because of our sins. He paid the natural consequences of our rebellion against God and was buried on Friday. It was sealed that evening. It was quietly guarded all day Saturday and into the night. The Roman soldiers built a fire and kept watch all the early hours of Sunday morning. But at dawn, on Sunday morning, as the first rays of the sun touched the place where the grave was the stone was rolled away by the angels of Heaven and Jesus walked out. Death had been thoroughly, finally, completely, irrevocably, and perpetually defeated.
This is the heart of Christianity
It is of first importance. Nothing comes close to it and this simple truth sets Jesus apart from all other prophets, philosophers, teachers, leaders, great men, and noble women. You can visit the tomb of Abraham, Moses, Budda, Confucius, and Mohammed – but you will not find the tomb of Jesus because it is empty.
I know this to be true because the Bible tells about all of the witnesses who saw him
“3 I passed on to you what I received, of which this was most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; 4 that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day as the Scriptures say; 5 and that he was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles.
6 After that, Jesus was seen by more than five hundred of the believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all he was seen by me…”
Peter and the 12 saw him. 500 saw him at one time. Even James (Jesus brother and leader of the church in Jerusalem) the other apostles and Paul saw Jesus.
The Fate of the Apostles
SIMON PETER - A FISHERMAN was crucified, head-down, at his own request.
ANDREW, BROTHER OF SIMON PETER - A FISHERMAN was crucified at Patras in Achaia. A later tradition describes him as being crucified in a spread-eagled position - hence the St. Andrew’s cross of Scotland.
JAMES, SON OF ZEBEDEE - A FISHERMAN was beheaded - ’put to the sword’ (Acts 12:1-2 following) by King Herod.
JOHN, BROTHER OF JAMES and SON OF ZEBEDEE - A FISHERMAN was banished to the island of Patmos, now one of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. He was subsequently freed and died a natural death at Ephesus c AD100.
PHILIP was martyred at Hieropolis.
BARTHOLOMEW, also NATHANAEL was skinned alive, and then beheaded.
THOMAS DIDYMUS - ’DOUBTING THOMAS’ was speared to death near Madras on the east coast of India.
MATTHEW, also LEVI - TAX-COLLECTOR/PUBLICAN was martyred in Ethiopia.
JAMES, SON OF ALPHAEUS was martyred in Egypt.
JUDE, also THADDAEUS was killed with him in Persia.
SIMON THE ZEALOT or PATRIOT was either crucified or hacked to death in Persia
MATTHIAS was martyred in Ethiopia.
PAUL OR SAUL OF TARSUS was beheaded in Rome.
Scandal cannot be kept secret
Watergate is a good example from the 70’s. In our time it was Enron and WorldCom. A lie becomes known eventually. A scandal cannot be kept secret. Perhaps one or two would die for a lie but not many and not all. The apostles lived and died for Jesus with one exception – Judas, and he died before the resurrection proclaiming Jesus innocence.
Jesus defeated death – ONE Time and for ALL peoples.
Really Good News: We will be raised like Jesus
“20 But Christ has truly been raised from the dead—the first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised. 21 Death has come because of what one man did, but the rising from death also comes because of one man. 22 In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again.”
This is the whole point of Christianity
There are a lot of churches that have missed the point completely.
It is not about good works. It is not about being moral people
It is quite simply the fact that we live! We win! We will not die! Death is a vanquished enemy not a feared inevitability.