Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry


the resurrection of jesus

The Resurrection Changed Everything

1 corinthians 15.17.JPG

1 Corinthians 15:16-23

We have talked at some length about the Resurrection as an encouragement to believers, and it surely is; however, it is far more than just that.

Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church. Buddha founded Buddhism. Charles Taze Russell founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The prophet Mohammed founded Islam.  Other than founding a religion, what do all of those have in common? They are all dead. In fact, they all died just like normal people die, from normal things which cause human death. They died normal deaths, and have stayed quite dead. There are a couple of things of additional note. None of these claimed to have died for their followers, and their follower do not claim this. None of these made any claims that they would come back to life, and their followers do not claim that they did.

Friends, only Jesus claimed that His express purpose was to die for those who follow Him. Only Jesus claimed he would overcome that death and rise again to life. Furthermore, Christians are the only people who claim that their savior actually did all of these things.

The equation here is astoundingly simply, and Paul summed it up well in our verse today. If Christ is not raised, our faith is useless; in fact it is nonexistent. If Christ stayed dead, then when we die we will as well. In fact, if Jesus stayed dead, then we are already dead in our sins and will stay that way.

Jesus Appearances after the Resurrection

1 corinthians 15.6.JPG

1 Corinthians 15:4-9

The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus is one of the mostly fervently assaulted doctrines and beliefs of Christian Faith. Only the Creation story is attacked as strongly. Why is this so? That answer is simple; if there is no resurrection, there is no true Christian faith. If we serve a dead Savior, then we serve nothing. The resurrection of Jesus was a history changing event and it is a life changing one as well.

Contrary to what the doubters try to tell you friends, the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well documented events in the first century. Here Paul makes an astounding claim. Not only did more than 500 people see the resurrected Jesus, but most of them were still around at the time Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth! In effect, Paul was issuing a challenge to the scoffers here: “Hey, if you don’t believe me go ask them; they saw it too!” To my knowledge, no one came forth to challenge Paul’s assertion.

A defense of the Resurrection is not really the point here today. Friends the point today is that the Resurrection of Jesus is one of the greatest encouragements we have in our walks of faith. Because Jesus died, we have also died to sin and our old selves. Because Jesus lives, we also live free from the penalty of our sin and in our new selves. Finally, because Jesus will live into all eternity in glory, so will we!

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