Why do you think the disciples were so excited about the resurrection of Jesus? Was it the excitement of the miracle? Was it the thought that they could go on with the miracles of healing, opening blind eyes, changing the water into wine, multiplication of loaves and fishes. Had they grown used to the supernatural and didn’t want the excitement to be over? Did they understand all the benefits of the resurrection at the time? I doubt it.
Does it really make any difference in our walk as a Christian whether or not Jesus was raised from the dead? Wasn’t His death on the cross sufficient for my salvation? Why make such an issue about it. Can’t people just believe in Jesus?
- The first point we made was that God thinks that the resurrection is vital to our salvation. We read in Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
God has placed the necessity of the believing in the resurrection to our salvation, not man.
- The resurrection is witness that our sins have been atoned for; it is proof of our justification. (Just as if I had never sinned)
Romans 4:25 (NKJV) (Jesus) who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Calvary and the cross took care of the past, the resurrection took care of our future. Many job applications have a question on them that is to be answered. The question is “have you ever been convicted for a felony.” They are not as concerned about your past as they are about your future behavior. They think if you have done it before, you will likely do it again. The fact that Jesus is alive means that you can have a “New Life in Him.” One cannot have a new life in a dead man. In Jesus is life and the past is dead. Jesus became the felon for us.
- The resurrection speaks to the immense power of God. I have read and heard of people being raised from the dead, but they continued their life on earth in a body that still had to contend with sickness, pain, aging and yes, eventual death again. The resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead, was to a transformed body that was no longer subject to sickness, pain, aging and death. We will talk about that in a moment.
- The resurrection validates who Jesus claimed to be, the Son of God and the Messiah. John 2:19 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” He foretold of His death and that He (by His Spirit) would raise it up. John 11:25 (NKJV) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
- The resurrection proves that Satan has been defeated and that we as believers have victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NKJV) 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- In that Jesus was raised from the dead means we will be raised from the dead. Romans 8:29 (NKJV) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
A few thoughts about that resurrected body. R.A.Torrey (1856-1928) was an Ohioan that was superintendent of what was to become the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago Ill. He wrote, “We will not be disembodied spirits in the world to come, but redeemed spirits, in redeemed bodies, in a redeemed universe.”We are not going to be ghosts nor phantoms.
Death is an abnormal condition because it tears apart what God created and joined together. God intended for our bodies to last as long as our souls. We are unified beings. That’s why the bodily resurrection of the dead is so vital. And that’s why Job rejoiced in Job 19:25-27 (NKJV)
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
When God sent Jesus to die, it was for our bodies as well as our spirits. He came to redeem not just “the breath of life” (spirit) but also “the dust of the ground” (body).
So what will our resurrected body be like? Because we each have a physical body, we already have the single best reference point for envisioning a new body. It’s like the new upgrade of my word processing software. When I heard there was an upgrade available, I didn’t say, “I have no idea what it will be like.” I knew that for the most part it would be like the old program, only better. Sure, it has some new features that I didn’t expect, and I’m glad for them. But I certainly recognize it as the same program I’ve used for a decade.
Christ’s Resurrected Life Is the Model for Ours. Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT) 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
The resurrected Jesus did some pretty normal things and did not stand out as abnormal.
The risen Jesus walked and talked with two disciples on the Emmaus road. They asked him questions; he taught them and guided them in their understanding of Scripture. They saw nothing different enough about him to tip them off to his identity until “their eyes were opened”. They saw the resurrected Jesus as a normal, everyday human being. The soles of his feet didn’t hover above the road—they walked on it. No one saw bread going down a transparent esophagus when he swallowed. Jesus cooked and ate with His disciples when He encountered them after a night of unsuccessful fishing. They saw Him as a man. They did not see a ghost.
He carried on normal conversations and relationships. If you study his interactions with Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and Peter, you will see how similar they are to his interactions with these same people before he died. The fact that Jesus picked up his relationships where they’d left off is a foretaste of our own lives after we are resurrected. We will experience continuity between our current lives and our resurrected lives, with the same memories and relational histories.
The full sermon is on line if you care to listen to it.
Join us this Sunday at the Connection. If you need to be healed or have a friend that is in need of healing bring them. Marilyn Neubaur an international speaker and missionary will be ministering in the service.
See you Sunday.