Summary: How the witnesses to the resurrection impact our lives today

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+ The Secret Life Of a Stiff

1 Cor. 15:1-11

+ Behind the University of Tennessee Medical Center is a lovely little woodlot on a hillside where people are seen lying in the sun or reclining in the shade as squirrels and other forest creatures play in the trees.

> Out there is where Arpad Vass, a scientist at UT’s Anthropological Research Facility, sees dead people — every day. All those folks spread out there in the Tennessee heat are lying down because they’re all very much dead — they’re cadavers sprawled out intentionally as a way of studying modes of human decomposition. They’re the lifeless bodies of people who have very nobly and generously donated their bodies to science after their death, and forensic science owes them a huge debt of thanks.

Vass’s job is to evaluate how the human body decomposes under various conditions: buried in shallow graves, stuck in car trunks, wrapped in plastic bags, submerged in a man-made pond, just to name a few — all the different ways the human body can be disposed of or dumped by a murderer. The data collected helps forensic scientists and law enforcement work their cases.

The Body Farm at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, or Anthropology Research Facility, is the only research facility in the world that is dedicated solely to studying the decomposition rate of corpses.

- We know about death but we don’t understand the resurrection

+ Bad news travels fast.

Within two hours the whole world knew that

President Kennedy had been killed,

Who killed him,

Where he was killed

How he was killed.

- Today, still half the world does not know

The good news that Jesus died,

Where He died,

The purpose of His death.

- People do not know that Jesus died for them.

- Researchers are using the dead to help the living

- This is what Paul does


> v. 3 - “First of all” – Meaning “of first importance”

> Introducing Good news here -v. 1

> Nothing new about a person dying v.3

> Nothing new about a person being buried - v. 4

> What is new, never done before is that he rose again the 3rd day v.4


> This is all according to prediction – THE SCRIPTURE v.3-4

> Example: (Death) Day of Atonement Lev 16, Is 53

> (Resurrection) - Ps 16:10

> So what? — It was for our sin - v.3

> Evidence: “Was Seen” in each verse 5-8


> The Denier - Vs. 5 - Peter who was so adamant about his loyalty denied Christ 3 times. Matthew 26:70-74, Luke 23:54-62.

- When Jesus arose from the dead, he appeared to Peter in Luke 24:52,

- He gave Peter special attention

in John 21.

- Peter, the denier, needed to know that he was forgiven and still useful in ministry for Christ.

> The Defectors - Vs. 5

- The"the twelve" even though there was now 11.

- They had run when Jesus was in His darkest hour.

- Jesus appeared to them with a message of Peace (2x) and commission. See John 20:19-23.

> The Discovers Vs. 6

- Ordinary People-

- Just an average cross section of people

- 500 more then enough to testify to the


- We don’t have to be anything special

to experience the touch of the resurrection

- To inherit eternal life come by faith

> The Doubter - Vs. 7

- This James was half-brother to Jesus.

- Jn 7:5 tells us that His brethren didn’t

believe on Jesus.

- James was touched by the appearance

of his brother.

- He became a believer.

> The Dispatchers Vs. 7

- Messengers of the good news

- The apostles. Lk 10:1 & 17

- They were with Jesus from the

beginning - Acts 1:22 & 25

- The Lord commissioned them to go

out in Mt 28:18-20.

- They had seen the risen Lord they

were effective messengers for Him.

- A true witness for Christ must see Him

as risen, or he has no message.

> The Discourager Vss. 8-11

- Attacks the church-

- Not only did Paul not believe in Jesus,

but he persecuted Jesus’ followers.

- See Acts 8:1 and 9:1-2.

- The risen Jesus appeared to Paul on

the Damascus road (Acts 9).

- Even those who persecute Jesus and

His followers can be saved!

- Somewhere we are found on this list

+ The resurrection is the center of


> Is it part of your history?

> Philip 3:10 - That I might know Him,

And the power of His resurrection …


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