Sunday, March 31, 2013


This past week has included last-minute teaching, drama, suffering and death … and today: resurrection!   

It was a handful of women who were there to see Jesus’ final breath, and these same women who prepared him for burial.  Early on the first day of the week, after the Sabbath, these women came back to his tomb to further cover the body, and in the process, became the first to see the empty tomb, and the first to tell the gospel: He is alive! 

This became “the gospel,” - “the good news” for all people and for all times.  There is a resurrection from the dead, and Jesus was the first among us. 

Today’s lesson was written by Paul to the Corinth church of Christ … and I’ll let him finish this blog entry today … slightly re-arranged, and paraphrased for us. 

Please take these words to heart today and let them serve as your own personal message of hope. 
Like Jesus, we will all suffer. 
Like Jesus, we will all must take up our cross. 
Like Jesus, we will all die. 
Like Jesus, we will all be resurrected 
To them that overcome, we will be resurrected to eternal life

Now I make known to you the gospel
Which I preached to you,
Which you received,
In which you stand,
By which you’re saved …  
…(if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain)

That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and
That he was buried, and
That he was raised on the third day
That he appeared to Peter, to the 12, to more than 500, then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, he appeared to me. 

If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

I affirm that I die daily.
If  I fought from human motives, what does it profit me?
If the dead aren't raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

Don’t be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals.  
Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God.  

But someone will say,
“How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”
That which you sow doesn't come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or whatever.
But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
All flesh isn't the same, but there’s one of men, and another flesh of beasts, of birds, and of fish; and there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.
So also is the resurrection of the dead: 
  • It’s sown a perishable body, it’s raised imperishable
  • It’s sown in dishonor; it’s raised in glory
  • It’s sown in weakness; it’s raised in power
  • It’s sown a natural body; it’s raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
So also it’s written:
“The first man, Adam, became a living soul.”
The last Adam was a life-giving spirit.
However, the spiritual isn't first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
Just as we have borne the image of the earthy [Adam], we will also bear the image of the heavenly [resurrected Jesus].
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: we won’t all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.  

But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
Thank God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Therefore beloved:
Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work - knowing that your toil for the Lord is not in vain! 

(excerpted from 1 Corinthians 15)

If you really want this resurrection message to help your daily life, go back through these verses and find the action items, and make them true in your life.  Don’t merely understand, but take action!  You will find (among other bits) Paul uses this message to teach us to:
  • Hold fast the word
  • Avoid the deception from keeping bad company
  • To die daily
  • To put our hope in eternity, not in this life
  • To be steadfast and immovable
  • To abound in the Lord’s work 

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