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Relevance Of The Resurrection

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This morning     the Relevance of the Resurrection  

Is there relevance and any significance concerning the Resurrection for us today     I know it’s a historical event that took place in the 1st century   in Jerusalem     I know that Jesus died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead    but is there any relevance for us now

We are living in the 21st century      what does an event that took place in the 1st century have to do with those of us living in the 21st century     does it really matter

When you think about the  problems  the economy    the social disorder  the breakdown of the family         with all the things that will deal with today    what Relevance is there      Does it matter       or is it just something we say in church  and celebrate once a year    

Is there anything I can gain from it   to help me        well before I move on  let me tell you this     it did takek place       Jesus did die on that Cross and God did raise him from the dead        the reason he had to die on that cross  because Jesus is God in the flesh      He came to die on the cross for our sin    the wages of Sin is death   but the gift of God is eternal life       because we sinned we deserved to die  but Jesus died a substituitonary death      he had no sin   but He became sin so we could become the rightheousness of God     He did die

He was not in a coma          He died     do you believe that He died    but Early on that third day morning     God raised Him from the dead         according to Romans  that same spirit that Raised a dead Jesus now lives on the inside of us     those of us who h ave accepted Christ as Lord and Savior

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, qthen Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because rwe have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; syou are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have 3fallen tasleep in Christ have perished. 19 uIf in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  But now vChrist is risen from the dead, and has become wthe firstfruits of those who have 4fallen asleep[1]

He became the first fruits of those fallen asleep

He became  the first fruits        well   if you have ever had someone that you love to die   and you had to put them in the grave    or if you have been fortunate enough to not have to go to the cemetery   Great   but     chances are if its not you    you know somebody that has had to visit  what we call the cemetery     where you have to stand over that open whole  called the grave and like the rest of us    wonder   what happen to this body in the latter days

That what this text is tailored to teach us   as the Apostle Paul stood possibly at the cemetery at Corinth where a group of skeptics were listening to him   when they asked a  kind of silly question

Well  what happens to the body       How are the dead raised?   And with what body do they come?  

and they were saying this mockingly    and when Paul responded and called them foolish    he was not retaliating with some verbal acrimony or bitterness     he was merely saying   “for you to ask a question like that, “ really peels back  how much ignorance  you are really displaying      because you don’t have to be a genius     you don’t have to know the dimensions of biological science  to know   that there are things that have to die first  before they can come back to life 

And its out of this concept that  Paul addresses for us    the quintessential  question of bodily resurrection      How will it be and with what kind of body shall we be raised with

Have any of you ever possibly entertained that question     normally it’s the Christian that is curious about that   no atheist    or agnostic   no nonreligious unthinking person would ever think about this        but those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ know    that   the cemetery is not our  stopping place at best they are just depots  until we get a new ticket to  another destination

If you have ever asked this question    or if you have not       let me tell you this from the jump   I’m not trying to convince you  that what I’m saying is true      Paul is not speaking from faith to argument   but faith to faith     only those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ    would dare comprehend something as mysterious and supernatural   and translogical as what Paul is describing here in 1 Corinthians 15

So to answer these question    What How  and When    lets listen to what Paul  says to the church right now   about the body being raised from the dead   and how the Resurrection of our Lord is so relevant to that

He takes us beyond the question to 3 analogies 1    inanimate    2 animate and the 3rd astrological  an in each he displays the supernatural power of God   the omninetience  of God   or the omnipotence of God and displays it in these natural orders

He begins by asking us to look at God’s power displayed in the inanimate    He says look at the life of vegetation   in verse 37 and verse 38  He says And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body[2]

There is a necessity in the order of what Paul is arguing     that there has to be death   before there can be life     and he points out that all life is born out of death    an in the land of vegetation     when you look at a dried  dead  dissolving  see that is planted in the damp ground   then something mysterious takes place underneath that earth   and what you put in the ground  is not what comes out of the ground        there is something beneath the earth  that disorganizes what we put in the earth    but in its new growth it moves from disorganization  to reorganization    from disorientation to a kind of reorientation

And Paul is saying  in the same way God gives life to vegetation   the Lord has power to display new life in your life when you are raised with the Lord Jesus Christ 

Our Lord      Christ Jesus even in forecasting his own death in John 12    talks about this when he says  unless a seed dies in the ground    unless it dies   it remains a seed     dried  dead  dissolved   desecrated    He says  but if it dies    then it will spring back to life  and there will be seeds   speaking of His own death and his own resurrection

So we begin with the Lord saying to us   Look at God’s power displayed in the world of vegetation    and God says   If he can do it in vegetation    he can do it in you          He’s the same God that created you    I also created vegetation       and God says  if He will do it with a plant     He will certainly do it with you

He moves on from the animate  and says you can actually see how life really functions      coco demure seed       it weighs  40 pounds    you bury that seed    that seed then bursts out into a coconut tree

The smallest seed is the epithetic orchard seed    there is over 3 million of these seeds inside one ounce    and yet when it is planted it burst out orchards      and Paul is saying   whether it’s a large seed or a small seed   it goes through the same decomposition as anything else    and yet when it decomposes  dissolves disintegrates  decays     and when every body above the ground  think that the end of life is beneath the ground   God does something so supernatural  that he proves to us  that life starts and ends with Him

After talking about Vegetation      Paul gives us a Variety as he discusses  verse 39   God displayed power in the animal world    He now appeals in his own educational upbringing     he looks at the bird     the fish  the different animals   he looks at humanity and in that He says    God has prepared a body  suitable to adapt  to the environment that that body is in          He says   what makes bird birds  God gives them hollow wings to fly     God gives fish gills so that they can swim in the sea       Mammals are giving there skin to ruminate as well humanity all being adaptable and suitable to the environment that they live in  but they are infinitely different with variety but yet created by the same God

In the same way    he says they are all different and like they are different   you too    when you and I are put in the earth we will be raised different     it’s a kind of difference and variety  of such where God says  he has provided for these animals  everything they need to adapt to the environment that they live in

Now I’m a good researches    animal planet     all that   its amazing how a person can actually think that the diversity and variety is actually a result of something that exploded in the Cosmos  and then so intricately designed things so wonderful as animals

The bee hummingbird     it weighs the equivalent of two bayer aspirin in the palm of you hand      it travels all the way from North Canada to Southern Mexico        it can hoover in one place     then fly up    fly down or backward

Butterflies  taste through their feet   sharks are virtually beyond sickness    there are diseases that are able to afflict a shark    a donkeys eyes are situated In a way  that it can see all four hoofs at the same time I can go on an on an on about that        and the point is   God has created bodies for these animals so they can adapt to their own environment  

Now   if God will do that for a bird   a fish   a butterfly    a shark and an donkey    God says He is the God of all creation   and He will give you what you need to be adaptable beyond earth  into a dimension called Eternity

Then Paul goes one place higher than that  and He looks at the Astronomical  and says   now consider the Celestial      verse 40   and he makes a comparison between the Celestial and the Terrestrial      in this   He speaks of the sun  the moon   the stars   the different galaxy    and he speaks of it and gives it a term      He says you see them in their Glory  

Then he makes this comparison      he says  now look at the Terrestrial   and you look up to the Celestial      in the humans  and heaven lies              you see that there may be special differences   but there is no real difference in creative matter        in man you find  carbon    hydrogen    nitrogen    oxygen    but if you would go into the heaven     space     you’ll find the same substance in the galaxy         hydrogen   oxygen   nitrogen   and carbon   and the Lord says       in the same way that I have done thing in the Terrestrial and the Celestial      I have given them the body that they need to be adaptable to the environment that they live in     at the same time   I have given you what you need in human flesh on earth   and God says if I can take care of you in the earthly   Terrestrial         what more can I do for you Eternal

God has given earthly bodies  but He also gives earthly    so the question I have not answered yet   is the question that was hanging out at the cemetery at Corinth   the skeptics and mockers were asking    How shall this be?       And when Paul recited analogies from the Animated    the inanimate and the Astronomical    he was answering this   and this is how you answer the question today

The question is how shall you be raised                you might want to write it down

By the Power of God         that’s no over simplification    we don’t have time to unpack    the Power of God    but if you look at the inanimate    animate and astronomical     you see the parallel of that statement that Paul makes to the Hebrew thought  back in Genesis  chapter 1   and 2 of the creativeness of God     and in that creation    what you discover  is that God doesn’t have to go look for something to create       His power is exemplified  by His ability to speak     and something starts to happen

Cryoto   ex nylo     out of nothing   God merely speaks and worlds come into existence

I’m talking to Christians now    you don’t have to convince anybody   that wants to demean   minimized   make light of   make laughable  what you believe as a believe about the Resurrection  or anything for that matter   

You are not arguing faith to somebody’s intelligence      is from faith to faith   its not a matter whether you believe it or not     Its is the truth   and the reality of what God has done in the natural and the spiritual order   

And there are people who will get offended  cause they will say  you ought to do all you can to try and convince people     nah          The bible is not a document to try to convince you  Who God is

Nowhere do you find   where God says  I’m going to fight with you to believe       and let me tell you why   God doesn’t have too       its because   He already know you believe    and the reason why you know is because God created you

And there is something in you that is restless    an empty   and dissatisfied until it is filled with the presence of the Almighty God  through a relationship with His son Jesus Christ 

That’s the reason why you can make all the money that you want to make   and you still not satisfied

You can have all the sex you want    and you still not satisfied 

You can drink all the liquor you want   and not satisfied     smoke all the weed  

Get every promotion   plaudits  and popularity    have ever position   every degree  and not be satisfied 

Because God has made you for  Himself   and you will never be happy   never have real joy  never at peace    never satisfied   until you turn your life in direction of the God that made you

That’s the question How

But even believing Christians who believe in the Power of God       still want to ask the question   but Bishop SD   I’ve had to take my loved one   my friend to the cemetery      and that’s where we find Paul now at the cemetery   and he’s talking and people are mocking     and he is saying     come look in that grave

That grave has matter in it    this may have been a member of the Corinthian Church  and Paul was delivering the eulogy     we don’t know    He could have been standing there   and friends of the beloved who were outside of the faith start asking Paul these questions   about Resurrection  

Paul said  How    But the Power of God      then they ask   What kind of body will we have   if we are going to Resurrect    what kind  of body are we going to have

What’s going to come out of the grave      Paul here gives us 4 doublets  as he plays on contrast  

He says  let me tell you what is going to come out of the grave    in verse 42    he says what is going to come out of the grave is an imperishable    or incorruptible body      He says we are going to put in the grave a corruptible body  but what’s going to come out of that grave    is an in corruptible body      we are putting in that grave   a body that decays  and he plays back on the image of the seed  that decays  dissolves      that’s what we are going to put in that grave    an eartly remain

But this body that we are putting in there   that body decays     in fact   Paul would go on to say  in Romans 8:21    not just will the human body decay   but all of creating itself is going to decay     everything is going to slow down     everything is going to fade away     there is nothing that is created that will not dissipate  disappear   all of it    is going to decay

That’s what makes the statement so powerful  when he says  I’m going to give you a body that incorruptible     its hard for you to imagine isn’t it that you are going to have a body that doesn’t slow down   doesn’t weaken  and it doesn’t decay      you cant imagine that   because your entire life has been set to preserve a body that decays

From our childhood      we have pediatricians   and on an on    selective surgeons   specialists who look over our lives    it is to prevent a decaying body from decaying 

Everything about our life right now is to prevent decay      this health care issue with insurance is because you want to prevent decay     one of the biggest money making industries worldwide is cosmetic surgery        because people don’t want to decay It is the new Ponce De Leon fountain of youth    We Nip   We Tuck   We lift   WE pull    We botox    and not just women  because normally when we hear that our minds immediately go to women   nah   men too are dissatisfied with there decaying self    but I tell you what you do 

Go ahead an invest all your money in to that   and that’s where you are going to be spending all your money   because you is   going to decay 

Whether you want to are not    because the body perishes     Everything around us is an indicator    that we are decaying     Insurance   because we decay      the Pharmacy   because we decay      Hospital  Clinic   because we decay       and may I say there is nothing     no vitamin   no drug   no amount of exercise  that can keep you from decaying  

We feed our bodies because we decay     we clothe them because we decay    we put roofs over them   because we decay    and you can do all of that   and you have to  live decently and in order     but when the day is done and the setting of the sun    Everybody in here   you are going to  decay

I know you cant say it    but Paul lifts another line up in 1 Corinthians   where he says   eyes have not seen    ears have not heard   and neither had it entered into the heart of man what God has in store for those that love Him     but it has be revealed by his spirit   who searches the deep things of God         and I can hear John talking to me      And when he appears      we shall be like Him  for we shall see Him as he is   We shall be just like Christ      its an incorruptible   body

But in the very next verse   He says it will be a body   sown in the earth in dishonor   raised from the grave in Honor   or in glory

That word here in the greek new testament for dishonor  is the same word  that is used for a person who loses their citizenship     they have been stripped of their citizenship  and because of that        everything that they need to live as a citizen decently   has been taken away from them

This is what we see  when we come to the cemetery  and we put our love one’s in the earth      they have been stripped of citizenship of decency   that’s why because we love them     we honor them by burying them    because we know  shortly decomposition will dishonor them       so we embalm them     we cosmetically make them up    We put new clothes on them    their favorite suit    favorite dress   favorite color      WE put flowers around the casket    then we take them to the cemetery   and we put them in the grown    and bury them in that very place   of honor

Because they have been dishonored      and yet    the Bible says

Sown in dishonor      raised up in Glory     

We’ve seen that picture   its in the gospels     on the Transfiguration mountain   Jesus in humble humanity         light shines out through his humanity   and like lightning  it burns through our Lord Jesus Christ  

Church   I pray that you comprehend it   that God is going to do something so glorious with your body   that even the angels will have to pause to look at you  and say Hallieuh          raised in glory      weight        we shall be like Him

That’s not the end of that   He says  you have something else to look forward to, you will have a sinless body   It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. [3]


A sinless body      Now Paul is playing on that image in the inanimate of that seed   dried   dead   desiccated dissolving seed       You go into the ground weak     that word week means  you are incapable of producing    that is you are impotent  and your life is falling apart     weak          unable to bear the weight of living    Weak   everything about you    the runners leg tire out    the thinkers mind  incapable to comprehend        all of it is weak      everything just falling apart  

He say  you know why      your weakness is the result of something    Your weakness is the result of Sin

In fact  When you die   they are going to have a section on your death certificate that says  cause of death       Cancer want be it     Aids wont be it    High blood pressure want be  it   Heart Attack  Stroke   wont be it      dimensia    althezierers what be it       that might be a byproduct of the reality of it      but you can put one word  as cause of death on every one of our death certificate and its spelled   s I n

Now the intellectual cant comprehend that  because the intellectual mind says don’t call me no sinner       I may have seizures of corruption because of my environment         I may be socially aloft    at times    but I’m not a sinner

I’m not like the man who sleeps under a bride     the dope dealer   the prostitute walking the strole         the pimp   the hustler       you are not going to make me like somebody behind prison bars       you are not going to put me in the same category as some ignorant  demented person

Well   I want you to know     Status may be separated in sociology     culture may be separated by your educational level    but in humanity   all of us are the same   

The bible says     WE all have sinned and come short the glory of God      on our death certificate      Sin     that’s what weakens our body  an that’s what causes us to be put in the earth   

But then  that day   something is going to happen     our weakness is going to give over to strength      going to give over to power      going to be raised up in a new powerful body     something energetic   something supernatural    is going to get a hold of us   and lift us up     an we will not be the same         that’s the spiritual dimension of life       that we are going to be lifted up     an that says    that in that body that you about to receive    it is going to be body where you are not able to sin   

I said something    shout at the wrong time             you are going to have a body  where you are not able to sin            when people say   well what if     nah  that’s a proposition that wont work  once we get these new bodies      You will not be able to sin     in act   word   dead    behavior  attitude  will  or disposition     it will never happen

Cause you got a brand new body   

One more thing    Paul says  you are going to be sown natural     but you are going to be raised Spiritual      You are going to have a body that’s adaptable to a new eternal dimension   

This body is incapable of lifting you where you need to go     You couldn’t live in this body  in the presence of the eternal         this body is marked by decay

And even if you could lift it up and usher it into the presense of God     it would burn up by holy intensity        because our filth and unrightheousness  and our sin and our wickedness    would not stand in the presence of a Holy God   

So the Lord says  in the grave I put your natural body     but I want you to know    that I have prepared for you    a new body that will live forever in a spiritual dimension

You will move from the natural to the spiritual     from the temporal to the eternal    and God says its ready for you and its prepared to live in His presense

What kind of body is this going to be     Make no mistake     this is not a ghost     you are not going to be a ghost    this is why you don’t need to be scared of that stuff you see on TV or a horror move         no ghost is coming out of the grave     paranormal       not so    will not happen       might have been a figment of your imagination        you are not going to  an angel    no

You are going to have a Spiritual Body   and that’s an oxymoron      a Spiritual    body    well how this body look     well just look at Jesus

This is why the Resurrection is relevant   when Jesus resurrected from the grave   God had given Him a body     A spiritual body    and a resurrected body     that body was capable to eat     He ate fish with his disciples       that body was able to speak      that body was able to move around       He moved from Judea to Galilee   He even walked straight through doors     John 20     but it was a body     He could be touched    and handled

A body   but a spiritual body   

And there are those of us    we weep because we have had to put a mother or father   some of us mama an daddy   some brother sister     son  daughter     husband or a wife  in to that cold  chilly grave      and you hear people say   oh my  mama      daddy   they are in that ground  

No there not     no   all that is  is just earth matter     at the moment of death   the believer is consciously in the presence    of the eternal God   

But the day will come     When Christ will prepare a body for us  and yes you will be able to identify    mother  and daddy   and sister and brother    and we will all get together      what a time 

Yes we will   

S D Smith    you mean to tell me    I really respected you as a man who had some sense       you mean to tell me that you believe in this translogical  mobojumbo

Well call it whatever you want to call it     we’ll see at the end     because the realty of it is      that we will be Sown Natural    and and raised up spirit

God is going to raise us up in a Spiritual body   I’m through   but     you can go home   and go to your family  friend cemetery      and look at the names of loved ones that you placed there       all that’s there   is memory      and you sit and look at the names  and think of their presence  

But in reality   they are not there    

But here’s what I like   some have had to bury  parents  whose bodies have been emaciated ravaged by disease         people have been blown up     and people are concerned  how will they come together        we have had talk recently even of people being cremated     and  people assume that what God is going to do is take your old body   and add some resurrected glory to it

No   this stuff is going to be gone   the Lord is going to give you    a brand  new body    a  brand new body        capable  not to sin  and able to worship God for as long as you want to worship Him  

So this morning      this first question was How      then the Second Question was With What        but everybody wants to know    but When    

When is it going to happen       I’m glad you asked    cause when you read the end of the story     this is where  Paul gets happy      

He says  the day is going to come   Where the corruptible   is going to take on incorruption    and mortal   immortality     but      SD   you still haven’t answered When

I’ll answer it for you  in one line    In a moment   in the twinkling of an eye    how soon is that     the word is atomize    that means that its so quick   until its quicker than a blink      its timed but you cant measure it 

Its almost like saying   as soon as the Lord appears   at that exact moment of his appearing    you are going to be caught up   and you are going to be changed

In a moment   in a twinkling of an eye  

So the next time you go to the cemetery    you can look at the cemetery  and say  Death   where is your sting    Grave   where is your victory  

For Jesus has taken the sting out from death    and taken the victory from the grave 

So let me tell you what you ought to do    until that day  be steadfast  unmovable    always abounding in the work of the Lord    for your labor shall not be in vain

Nobody ought to get you shout now    You ought to think about  one of these days   When this life is over         I’ll fly away

If you got a loved on    that’s gone on       one of these days     if they were in Christ   and You  are in Christ     Thanks   be to God     who gives us  the Victory  IN

IN  Christ                if you are not in Christ              Get   In Christ       on that great getting up morning     when this life is over     I      I    fly away    and be at rest

One of these old days           Are you          Neighbor   are you    In Jesus 



q [1 Thess. 4:14]

r Acts 2:24

s [Rom. 4:25]

3 Died

t Job 14:12; Ps. 13:3

u 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Tim. 3:12

v Acts 2:24; 1 Pet. 1:3

w Acts 26:23; 1 Cor. 15:23; Rev. 1:5

4 Died

[1] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. 1 Co 15:20

[2] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. 1 Co 15:37-38

[3] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. 1 Co 15:43

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