Summary: Our Resurrection! That is what I want to talk about this morning beginning in 1 Cor 15 and verse 35. But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" It has already been explained to us through CHrist's resurrectio
The angels came to the shepherds saying do not be afraid, we bring you good news of great joy. Jesus said “I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. What brought Jesus the joy? The only place it really tells us is in Hebrews 12, “… let us run the race with endurance looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”. The joy wasn’t in the suffering, it was in the outcome of the suffering, to be raised to be with the Father and reign with Him. That is the joy he wants us to have.
That is what I want to talk about this morning beginning in 1 Cor 15 and verse 35 Our Resurrection. But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person… Excuse me, do those sound like foolish questions to you? When I first read that I wanted to give Paul a piece of my mind. “How many dead people have you seen raised?”
I think what he’s saying is that, “After all you have been told from the eyewitnesses of Christ’s resurrection in a new body, you ask this question? It’s already been explained to you and its going to happen to us the same way it happened to Jesus.”
He goes into an extensive explanation using natural world phenomena about what gets sown – a seed – has to die before the much more glorious plant comes to life. Just as there are differences between animal, fish, bird and human bodies, just as there are differences between the sun, moon and stars, and even each individual star, so there is a difference between the earthly bodies and the heavenly bodies of human beings.
The first body has to die for the second one to come into being, but that second one never dies, it is eternal, imperishable. It is way better than the first, but the first must exist and die for the second to come into being. I think we get it right?
We don’t know exactly what this body will be like, but what we do know is that the bible says we will be like Him. We shall one day bear the image of Jesus both physically and in character. Whereas those without the Spirit, those who don’t believe will also inherit imperishable bodies, but will not bear the image or character of Jesus. In other words a flesh animated/empowered body cannot inherit the Kingdom and eternal life with God, but a Holy Spirit animated/empowered body can.
Paul says in verse 21 that we will be changed whether dead or alive. Now I just want to address a question I have been asked on more than one occasion. Should Christians be buried or cremated. Is it wrong to be cremated? Well the Bible doesn’t really say. It appears that it was very rare for people to be cremated, most were wrapped up and put in a tomb. These tombs were like caves, not very often holes in the ground. They had wood and could make boxes, but they didn’t. So I think it’s very misguided to say that the way we bury people today is the only way the Bible would approve of. There is certainly no command in the Bible either way even though it seems like burial was the norm. Many people die in fires, many Christians were burned at the stake? Will they not be resurrected? I think if we can be raised up from the decayed body that we inhabit in this life, I am sure God can put together a bunch of ash, which is more like what we’re made with in the first place, just as well as he could put together some bones. You decide for yourself, maybe you find one way more respectable than the other, but you can’t use Scripture to prove that one way is more approved of by God.
So that’s all the how of resurrection, and we can’t fully understand it, but we get an idea of the process. But then we get into the “when” in verse 51. When are people physically resurrected? This passage is about physical resurrection in our new heavenly bodies and Paul mentions that it is at the last trumpet. This brings us to the Rapture & Tribulation
Now some believe this passage is talking about a rapture, in the sense that at some instant in time all believers dead and alive will be raised at the same time. The only thing we can say for sure is that yes the dead and the living will be raised in imperishable bodies in an instant. But does this rapture occur before the tribulation? I’m not so sure because it says it happens at the last trumpet.