… and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:4)
I would like to begin with a couple of quotes that confirm each other and introduce us to our study today. The 1st quote puts it this way:
No other doctrine is more critical to Christianity than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This great moment changed everything. Without the resurrection, the death of Christ loses its power and significance. Without the resurrection, we have no hope, and our faith is meaningless.from http://www.baptistpress.com
The 2nd quote comes from Bangalore SE India by Vankatesh Gopalakrishnan, preached on May 24, 2020. He writes:
Christianity stands or falls on the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection; you take away resurrection, and you’ll lose Christianity. It is this truth that seals believer’s faith firmly and gives hope of life after death precisely because Jesus Christ rose from the dead (italics mine). It indeed shows us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God came to die for sinners, to purchase the forgiveness for their sins.from email@example.com
In what way then does the resurrection “seal the believer’s faith firmly and gives hope of life after death?” This statement leads us to consider 3 assurances of our hope:
- The 1st assurance of hope deals with our GREAT PROMISE
- Because Christ arose, genuine believers will also be resurrected!
- He is what Paul calls “The first-fruit” But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. — But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)
- That phrase speaks of Christ, “the first who rose from the dead (never to die again), as the promise of the full harvest, the resurrection of all the saints.” – – John Walvoord in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, p. 222.
- So, Jesus is the first fruit. Then, the fruit that follows, is the harvest.
- Because Christ is the “first-fruit” (I Cor. 15:20), we have the assurance of our own future resurrection and glorification. Let’s take a closer look at some supporting passages: “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. (John 14:19) — But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11) — knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. (2 Corinthians 4:14) — receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9)
- Jesus’ resurrection guarantees ours, and our assurance of hope is based on this GREAT PROMISE! [And God cannot lie]!
- The 2nd assurance of hope deals with our GOSPEL PACKAGE
- We again turn to the classic passage on the resurrection in (1 Corinthians 15:1–8) 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
- Notice that the Gospel (v. 1) is a package deal! It must include Christ’s death for our sins. It must include His burial (proof that He actually died). Then, it also must include His resurrection (v. 4) with eye-witness corroborations (vv. 5-8)….
- This is all part and parcel of the Gospel (good news) which is “according to the Scriptures” (found twice here, vv. 3, 4)!
- But there is much more to it, this being the foundation of the good news! Some time ago I wrote down what I call “the Alphabet of Salvation.” I’d like to briefly share it with you, and each one is a major subject on its own:
- The final assurance of hope deals with our GODLY PRESENCE
- By this I’m referring to Christ’s and the Holy Spirit’s eternal presence with us and within us!
- Here are some passages we need to consider: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19–20) — And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. (John 14:16–19)
- In his commentary on the Gospel of John, Leon Morris says it so well – – – – –
I believe the message of the resurrection of Christ is something we need today! It assures us our hope of GOD’S GREAT PROMISE, of an entire GOSPEL PACKAGE and GOD’S PRESENCE with and within us!The Gospel according to John
Leon Morris, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (September 16, 1971)