”The Significance of the Resurrection”
April 5, 2015
I’m going to come back to Romans 10, but for now I just want to point out Romans 10:9, where the Bible reads that “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
What I want to preach about this morning is the significance of the resurrection. And I’ll submit to you that the resurrection is the key doctrine of Christianity. It is the most important thing that we believe; the physical, literal, bodily, resurrection of Jesus Christ. That Jesus died and was buried and rose again. And according to the Scriptures that is the very definition of what the Gospel is. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
This is something that needs to be emphasized today when we give people the Gospel and when we preach the Word of God: the resurrection is one of the most important things that we can emphasize about the Bible.
Now go through onto Matthew 28. Let me just also point out that the very reason why we have church on Sundays is because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s why we meet here on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights, and that’s why Sunday has been the traditional day to have church for all these years: it is because we are commemorating the most important event in the history of the universe, which is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the first day of the week. Look at Matthew 28:1, the Bible reads “at the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre, and behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightening and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Flip over to Mark 16. This is something that we read about in all four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of them emphasizing the fact that this is taking place on the first day of the week, all four of them making that clear. And not only that but we see that it was something he had already said was going to happen. He prophesized; he said he rose from the dead “as he said” he would.
Look at Mark 16:2. “And very early in the morning on the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves who shall roll away the stone at the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away, for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting in the right side, clothes in a long white garment, and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified. He is risen; He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.”
Go to Luke 24. So a lot of the same elements keep coming up over and over again. First of all, that it’s the first day of the week, very early in the morning. They are getting there at the time of the rising of the sun, the Bible says. And Jesus Christ is already risen from the dead, and he keeps telling them: look, you are going to see Him. You are going to see the resurrection Jesus Christ. It’s not just, here’s an empty tomb, take our word for it that He rose from the dead. No. It’s, you’re going to see Him. And of course we know that the disciples did see Jesus. In fact, he was seen of over five hundred brethren, the Bible says. He was seen of the twelve, He was seen of these women, He was seen of over five hundred brethren at one time. And not only that, but the Bible says that He ate and drank amongst them. And not only that, but he actually showed them the holes in His hands, the hole in His side, and the Bible says that they literally handled Him. They actually put their fingers into the print of the nails and they actually put their hand and felt His side. They handled Him, they ate with Him, they drank with Him. And the Bible wants us to just emphasize over and over again how this was a physical, literal, bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at Luke 24:1. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee.” So again, the third time it has emphasized that this is something He said would happen. And it says remember how he spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, verse 7, saying the son of man must be delivered in the hands of sinful men and be crucified and the third day rise again, and they remembered His words, and returned from the sepulchre and told all these things unto the eleven and to all the rest.
John 20, go to the last place, and let’s look at the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are seeing it in all four Gospels. Look at John 20:1 and look at the first words of the chapter: tell me that this isn’t significant that it’s brought up in all four places and that that is the day that God is driving in as being the significant day in regard to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. John 20:1, “The first day of the week”, the first words of the chapter, first words in all the stories, “cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter…” he just had to put that in there, that he was a little faster at running, but he did outrun Peter, “and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead.” Notice that this is something that even the Old Testament predicted because it says, “they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead.” Jesus had verbally told them that He would rise again from the dead and they were sceptical about that. For some reason their hearts were a little bit hardened, and if you remember, Peter even took Him aside and rebuked Him a little bit when He told them that, and Jesus said to Peter, “get thee behind me Satan”, and He turned around and rebuked Peter. But the Bible says that they knew not the scripture, so that shows us that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is something that is even predicted in the Old Testament according to this because there was a scripture that He must rise again from the dead.
Look at John 20:19. “Then the same day at evening,” and watch it being emphasized again, “being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” This was one of the many times that He appears unto them in bodily resurrected form.
Flip over to Acts 20, the book of Acts is right after John. It says in Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” So again, now we see the practice of the Apostles in the book of Acts, meeting together to break bread on the first day of the week and hearing the preaching of God’s Word. That’s where they are assembled.
Go to 1 Corinthians 16, so we see the significance of Jesus rising from the dead upon the first day of the week being emphasized. In Acts 20 we see the disciples coming together and the Bible is careful to tell us that they came together to hear this preaching and to break bread on the first day of the week. And look at 1 Corinthians 16:2, the Bible says this: “ Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” So they are taking up the offering when they are assembled together on the first day of the week. And you’ll notice in the book of Acts that what they are doing on the Sabbath day is pretty much soul-winning. Because of the Saturdays, Sabbath, whatever you want to call it; the Bible never uses the word Saturday of course, but they showed up at the synagogue on those days and would try to win the unbelieving Jews unto the Lord, try to preach the Gospel to the unsaved at the synagogue. But when they’re gathering together and assembling together, we see it on the first day of the week in Acts and in 1 Corinthians. Why? Why do we have church on Sunday? Because the significance is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the thing that we especially celebrate on Easter Sunday, but really every Sunday, that’s what we’re celebrating when we show up at church on Sunday morning. We’re actually emphasizing the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now a lot of people, if you would flip back to Malachi 4, the last book in the Old Testament right before Matthew. A lot of people would criticize this practice and they’d say, “you bunch of pagans, you’re going to church on Sunday, you’re worshipping the sun…” and they’ll try to get us on this practice of holding church on the Sabbath day. They’ll try to say, “you used to be on the Sabbath, and this Roman, pagan emperor Constantine is the one who changed it, bla bla,” but, that’s a lie, it’s the Apostles who did it. They met on Sunday. They met on the first day of the week. That’s where they had church. That’s where they took up the collection for the Saints. And not only that, but it’s a commemoration of the most significant event which is the resurrection of Jesus. “But you’re worshipping the sun…”, “Ok well, we are worshipping the Sun of righteousness.” Look down at the Bible at Malachi 4:2. Here’s a prophecy in the old testament of the resurrection of Jesus: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness…” S-U-N, “shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”
Now flip over to Romans 10 where started. We are going to be in Psalm 19 also. Not only is the resurrection of Jesus so significant that it’s why we go to church on the first day of the week, that’s the only why we go to church on the first day of the week. But it’s a big enough reason to be here. But not only that; the resurrection of Jesus is so significant that God has actually testified of the resurrection through the natural world, through His creation. Even God’s creation testifies of the great truths of His eternal power and God-head. And the Bible teaches that there are certain things in nature that are symbolic of the Gospel and other messages of the Bible. First of all, the most important message is the Gospel. And that is why every single day there is a reminder of the Gospel in this world. Because the Bible tells us that Jesus is likened under the sun, the Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in his wings, is about the resurrection of Jesus. And think about, every day the sun goes down and then it rises again. And that is the picture of Jesus Christ rising from the dead. I think Sunday is a great name for this day of the week where we commemorate on a weekly basis the resurrection of Jesus. And it’s amazing to think of how many people in this world who have an excuse not to believe: “So many people don’t even know what the Gospel is!” But if you really think about it, our very calendar is based on Jesus. 2015 what? 2015 years since Jesus was born. And when we talk about ancient dates being BC, we are talking about Before Christ. And we talk about AD – it’s Anno Domini which means in the ‘year of our Lord’. Our Lord Jesus Christ. And these bunch of heathens and atheists can change it to ‘BCE – Before the current era’ and then they’ll say ‘2015 CE – current era’. But they can call it current era all they want, but there’s only one thing that changes 2015 years ago and that’s the fact that Jesus was born and they can put whatever letters in front of 2015 they want. They are acknowledging the birth of Jesus even just by writing down the number 2015.So it’s in our calendar, it’s in our numbers, it’s in our day of the week, we look outside and see our sun rise – Jesus is reminding us of the resurrection every single day.
Let me prove it to you in the scripture. One verse in Malachi, well let's see more scripture. Romans 10:8. "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach that thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." This is where salvation is: believing that Jesus is risen from the dead. And it says in verse 10, "for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily..." and I want you pay attention to this quote from the Old Testament, "their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." Keep your finger there and go to Psalm 19. Remember Psalms is just at the dead center of the Bible, if you let your Bible fall open at the middle. Find Psalm 19, keep your finger on Romans 10:18, let's go to the source of this quote in Romans 10. It says in Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork." Watch this: "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge." So there's some picture that God has that's basically sending a message to mankind on a daily basis; day unto day, night unto night. Verse 3: "There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." And watch this, this is exactly what we see in Romans 10, "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Look at Romans 10:18, it said "their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." Psalm 19:4, "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." There's more to the verse: "In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." Notice here that the sun here testifies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we compare Romans 10 and Psalm 19. And not only that, it says that the sun is as a bridegroom, and who is the great bridegroom? The Lord Jesus Christ is the bridegroom. And we all are familiar with the term 'the bride of Christ'. It's a great theme that we find especially in the book Revelation, and so it's no surprise to find kind of language here in regard to the sun because the sun is something that goes down and then rises gain, which pictures in the natural world the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Now a lot of people like I said, will accuse us of worshiping the sun, but there's a big difference between saying the sun represents Jesus and when we see the sun rise, we can thank the Lord for the resurrection of Jesus, than somebody who actually bows down the physical, literal sun. We both know that no Christian people on this planet are going out and bowing down to that big ball of burning gas out there. Are there natives and pagans out there who literally worship that ball of gas? They don't need the name of Jesus. They are people who worship the trees and the rocks and nature and sun, moon and stars, but they scoff at the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There's nothing wrong with Christian people likening the Lord Jesus Christ and his resurrection unto the sun. God's handiwork makes manifest the Gospel. Every day, day after day, that picture is there in the natural work. There's a movement today to de-Christianize our nation and to de-Christianize our culture. And so there are people out there who are constantly trying to attack Christian holidays, Christian tradition and just trying to tear it down. People spend a lot of time on the Internet, getting sucked into this garbage because they are unlearned and unstable. If you actually study to prove unto God, and I'm not saying study websites and radio programs but actually study the Bible and actually research history - walk into a library - because you'll actually find more in the library that is actually a little bit more credible than to just go on the Internet, whatever article some guy in his basement wrote.
Look if you would at Acts 12. Because there's another big lie out that there that Easter is pagan. Not only do they say that Sunday is pagan when it's the first day of the week when we worship the Sun of Righteousness, the Lord Jesus Christ and that's S-U-N by the way, Malachi 4, but there's a movement out there that wants to say that Easter is a wicked, pagan holiday and want they want you to celebrate instead is Passover. They want to get you on Passover instead of Easter. They say '"God gave us Passover, what's Easter about?" And they'll try to tell you that Easter is Ishtar, or Easter is Ashteroth. Just because things sound sort of the same, doesn't mean they are because by that same logic you could say that the book of Esther is pagan. Esther sounds a lot like Easter, Ashteroth, Ishtar. Whatever you do don't name your child Bill or Billy because that's a lot like Baal. You're naming your child after a false god. But that's the stupidity of the people who just make things up. They have no basis in reality. In fact the word Easter has nothing to do with Ishtar, Ashteroth, or anything like that. No credible source - they say they read about it in Alexander Hislop's 'Two Babylons'. That book is a work of complete fiction. It is the biggest bunch of garbage I've ever seen in my life. That book was given to me and I went into that book with an open mind - a great book that really exposes the Catholic Church - until you start fact-checking anything in it. I fact-checked that book and found virtually everything in it to be a complete figment of the author's imagination. And you can't find it anywhere else. You can go through stacks of books and you can go through all the literature and you will never find any of that information anywhere else except in that. And then you'll find all these people talking about but they're all getting it from that one place. So we need to make sure that we're studying the Bible and making sure that we're making the Bible our final authority and not just getting into all this rabbit-hole of studying the mystery religion, pagan, because a lot of it is Jewish fables and false teaching. For example, you'll hear people all the time talking about Nimrod. Who has heard Nimrod villianized as religion of the mystery pagan? But you know what the Bible says about Nimrod? He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. That's all it says. Sounds good to me! If the Bible says Steven Anderson was a mighty hunter before the Lord, I'd be cool with that mention! He began to be a great one in the Earth! They'll spin this elaborate tale about Nimrod and hundreds and hundreds of pages about Nimrod this and Nimrod that and everything about Nimrod was on December 25th - it will go on and on but when you go to the Bible, there's nothing like that. But they say that here's the truth about all these hundreds of pages about Nimrod because he's mentioned in the Bible. But all the Bible mentions is positive. It's crazy! Just look it up, look up his name in the Bible - mighty hunter before the Lord, great one in the Earth. That's not bad. But people just make things up and we need to make the Bible our authority.
The word Easter is a Biblical word, otherwise I wouldn't even use it. But it's actually a Bible word - look at Acts 12 and we'll see the word Easter. It says in verse 1: "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church and he killed James the brother of John with the sword And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." Now here if we let the Bible define itself - this is the only time the word Easter is ever used in the Bible. If we allow the Bible to define itself, then Easter here is defined as the days of unleavened bread. Because he says, “then were the days of unleavened bread" so that's why he was going to wait until after Easter, because it's referring to the same thing. Same exact thing. People try to say "Easter here is a pagan holiday" - it's just stupid because first of all, I speak a lot of foreign languages, it's a big hobby for me and I've studied foreign languages all my life, especially since I was a teenager. And I've read the Bible cover to cover in five languages - the New Testament that is, I've only read the whole Bible cover to cover in about three, and it's interesting because if you look at all the New Testaments of the world and all the different Bible translations of world, most of them, the vast majority of them say 'Passover' here. They don't say the word 'Easter', they just use the word 'Passover' in whatever the language is. So a lot of people have attacked the King James and say "this is a mistranslation here, this should say 'Passover'". Then the people who want to defend the King James but are unlearned, they will basically say that this is a pagan holiday and that King James is the only one who got it right and all these other ones have it wrong. But in fact, both sides are very wrong here. Because the reality is that the word 'Easter' is an old English word that referred to the Passover and the entire Passover week. And the proof of that is that every English Bible before the King James - if you see our film where we go through all those translations that lead up to the King James, they all use Easter ten or twenty times. They'll talk about the Easter lamb, where King James will talk the Passover lamb. Because 'Passover' is a new word that was invented by William Tyndale and before that 'Passover' was also called 'Easter' in the old Bibles and even in Tyndale's Bible, he uses the word 'Easter' twenty-two times in the New Testament. So the word 'Easter' here is referring to unleavened bread. If you just look at the context it's obvious that this is what Easter is referring to. But anybody who doubts that and wants to think this is some pagan festival, all they have to do is look it up in the Matthew Bible, the Coverdale Bible, the Tyndale Bible, look up the word Easter and see that it is referring to 'Passover' about twenty-two times. It's just ignorance that would say "this is Herod celebrating a pagan holiday". No, this is Herod trying to please the Jews. When he killed James, the brother of John, he saw it pleased the Jews, so he wants to kill Peter also. If he's trying to please the Jews, he doesn't want to kill them during their holiday, he wants to wait until their holiday is over and then get maximum bonus points with his constituency as politicians do. That's the goal, that's what he's trying to do here. They say, why would the Bible use the word 'Easter' just in this one place instead of the word 'Passover'. Why did the King James translators do that? If they translated the same Greek word as 'Passover' everywhere else, why did they use 'Easter' here? Because basically, they are using 'Easter' here, number one, to refer to the whole week, and number two because this is after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So they are not acknowledging 'Passover' anymore in that sense. The thing about it is, the people who are wrong on this will try to say things like "the Bible never tries to call the feast of unleavened bread, never calls the whole week 'Passover'". That's easy to prove false because Luke 22:1 says "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover." That was simple. The Bible says in John 6:4 "And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh." The book of John is written after the resurrection of Christ, long after, and it's describing the events and the life of Christ and it speaks to the reader that it's talking to which is people of the world of all nations and tongues and saying to them, let me explain to you what the Passover is - it's a feast of the Jews. If that was a feast that we are supposed to be keeping today, the 14th day of the month Abib, if we were supposed to be on a Hebrew calendar and blowing the trumpet on the new moon and looking for that 14th day after the new moon, then why in the world does the book of John say that Passover is a feast of the Jews? You have to understand that Matthew, Mark and Luke are geared more towards a Jewish audience in what they cover, that's why all the timing, and I know I'm going way too deep, I'll get back to something simpler for those who don't like to learn in a minute! All the timing in Matthew, Mark and Luke, is based on the Jewish way of counting time for example, when it says the 'third hour', that's from dawn so that's around 9am. When it says the 'sixth hour', that's noon and when it says the 'ninth hour' that's around 3pm. Do you ever notice when you're reading the book of John, the numbers don't add up because basically things that are happening at the sixth hour over in John and then you compare it with the other Gospel, there's a discrepancy there. People who are unlearned will say that's a contradiction in the Bible. These number don't add up! But do you know why they don't add up? It's because in Matthew, Mark and Luke, they go by the Jewish way of doing it - they start at dawn with the hours, whereas in the book of John we do it today, starting at midnight. So when it says the ninth hour, it has to do with what we consider to be 9am. So it's just a different of reckoning time for the rest of the world. The book of John is written unto the world. That's why the one book that's translated if you go to these really weird foreign languages that are just some tribal language where people are out in the middle of nowhere and has less than a thousand people in whole world who speak that language, what's the one book if you can't get the whole Bible, what do they always translated for them? The book of John. The book of John is the book that has been translated in more languages than any other book in the Bible. John and Romans. But honestly, just the Gospel of John alone, because it's the book that is written so you can believe and have eternal life. So if you can do one thing for these natives, it's to give them the Gospel of John, get them saved. Give them the Word of God - at least start there. Why? That's why it points that as being of the Jews.
I don't want to replace Easter with celebrating the Passover with you because I'd rather celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ than just Jesus being killed. "But on the Passover, we're celebrating His death" - I'm not going to join with all of the Jews and celebrate killing Jesus. I'd rather celebrate the fact that he rose again. That's the Christians' celebration. We'll celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus on Easter, a Bible term for this week. It's referred to as 'Easter' in the Bible. The resurrection is the significant doctrine of Christianity. That's where we get our worship on Sunday, where we get so many other things. That's where we get salvation most importantly, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. But the fact that Jesus died in itself, is not enough. That's not the Gospel. The Gospel is not the death of Jesus - the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Here's the thing: the Jews believe Jesus was crucified, in fact they brag about killing Jesus in the Talmud. The Muslims, many of them have a lot of weird beliefs about Jesus, but many of them believe that he was killed. But what they don't believe in is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. They don't believe in it. And you know who else believes that Jesus was crucified? Atheists. It is considered to be a historical fact even by God-hating atheists and liberal scholars. Did you know that they all virtually accept that Jesus being crucified is a historical fact? They'll acknowledge it as a fact. Do they acknowledge the resurrection? No they don't. But even the universities of this world - the Princeton, the Harvard, those who profess themselves to be wise and have become fools. Those who are atheists, agnostics, those who do not believe one word of the Bible, acknowledge that Jesus Christ was crucified as a historical, undeniable fact. It did for sure happen. But they just don't believe the supernatural of it. They don't believe the fact that He rose again. That's what sets apart Christianity. That's what we believe is the Gospel, as opposed to just acknowledging a mental fact about Jesus that he lived and died. Of course he lived and died, but he rose again.
Flip over to 1 Corinthians 15. It's amazing there are so many other pictures in nature of the resurrection of Jesus. We talked about the sun coming up every morning picturing the resurrection of Jesus, but while you're turning to the chapter, I'll read to you from John 12 where the Bible reads, "And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." So Jesus, when He talked about plants reproducing, He likened it unto a death, a burial and a resurrection. He said "a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die" and then he said, "It bringeth forth much fruit." And so every time a seed is planted on this Earth, that seed dies, then that seed is buried and then that new plant comes up picturing the resurrection of Jesus. It's so significant, it's everywhere. It's everywhere in nature, it's everywhere in the Bible, it's the most important thing we can emphasize and believe as Christians.
1 Corinthians 15 is what I would call the resurrection chapter of the Bible. This is the chapter on the resurrection that really goes on and on about the importance of it. Verse 1: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved," - look you're saved by the Gospel the Bible says - " if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." So Jesus bodily appeared unto Paul last. So he's not bodily appearing unto people today. The last that he bodily appeared unto was Paul. "Last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" So even back then there was a false doctrine denying the resurrection of Jesus. And it's still out there today. There are people who even call themselves Christians who don't believe in the resurrection. They're called Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses will tell you that this is their resurrection - his spirit left his body. But that's called death. A body without the spirit is dead. That's a dead body, that's not a resurrection. "His body just disappeared and his spirit just left..." No. He walked out of that grave, he showed them the holes in His hands, he showed them the holes in his feet. He said to them, "Do you have any meat? Feed me." Why did Jesus want to be fed? Does he just always show up at dinner time? No. He showed up and wanted to eat because of the fact that he wanted to show he had been bodily resurrection. It's an emphasis. He said I'm not a spirit: a spirit hath not flesh and bone as you see me to have. He said I'm flesh and bone, I'm eating with you, I'm drinking with you. Come handle me! And he says in verse 13, "But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." He says your faith is meaningless, your preaching is meaningless if you don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's vain what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. It's meaningless because they deny the bodily resurrection. other liberal denominations whether it be people within the United Methodists or Unitarian or United Church of Christ or First Church of the Deep-Freeze or whatever they are, they who deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, their faith is vain. Their preaching is vain, it's worthless.
It says in verse 15, "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not." He's saying that if Jesus didn't rise again then I'm a liar and so are all the apostles because that's what we preach the whole time. You're calling us all liars he said. It says in verse 17, "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain". He emphasized that again. "Ye are yet in your sins." You can't be saved if Jesus didn't rise again. The Bible says you are saved by His life. He died for us but we are saved by His life, we are saved by the resurrection. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ". So we're saved, if you take out that parenthesis, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And Baptism pictures the resurrection. So it’s not Baptism that saves but Baptism that pictures that which saves, because it's the resurrection that saves. It's not the sun that we worship but the sun pictures who we worship - Jesus - the sun rises every day, Jesus Christ rose again from the dead 2000 years ago. The Bible says in verse 18, "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
See, the Bible says that if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. Look at verse 35, "But some man will say, how are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." He's saying the seed there, again, represents the body. And He's saying you're a fool to sit there and try to figure out how can a dead body rise again? The dead body is in the grave and its decaying and how is that ugly, dead, decaying body going to rise again? He's saying you're a fool. Because the God of the universe who spoke and said "let there be light" and there was light, can resurrect the dead. And it's not for you to sit there and try to figure out how it's likely, physically going to take place. It's going to take place through the power of God. And the thin about that is, that the Bible says He will change our vile body. The vile, decaying body will be changed in a moment. So it is not that it is just being replaced with a totally different body - it's going to be changed. How does that work on a molecular level? You're a fool! Because that's what the Bible says you are. The Bible says that anyone who asks that question is a fool. We should avoid foolish questions. We need to believe by faith that, verse 44, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." And the thing about that is that language being sown, again, has to do with sowing a seed. This goes to show again how when a person dies, the reason why we Christians bury them is because it's a picture of that seed being planted. Then that seed is going to rise into a plant, in this case a human being is going to rise again when the trumpets sounds and our Lord Jesus Christ is coming. And so that's a beautiful picture of the resurrection. Every plant that grows out the soil pictures the resurrection. It's everywhere. There's no place you could look without being reminded of the truths of God's Word. And those who are reverberated in this world don't even want to retain God in their knowledge. But every time the sun comes up it's there. Every time a plant grows out of the Earth, it's there. Every time they write a cheque in their pursuit for the love of money, it's there: 2015 years ago, Jesus was born. Don't forget it: it's everywhere! You can't escape it. The heat of the sun - there's no place where the sun's heat is not felt. And it's the same thing with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its influence is everywhere. The Word of God is everywhere; it's in all languages, all tongues. It's in all parts of the world, it's in all nations. It's not restricted to just certain nationalities or language group or a certain continent or hemisphere - it's everywhere. God is the God of the whole Earth.
Let's keep reading. It says in verse 42: "so also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in in corruption. It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." Verse 45: "And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." That victory is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It signifies victory. The Bible says of the sun coming up every day, His mercies are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness and every day when the sun comes up, let is remind you that we have the victory through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." When you wake up in the morning and no matter how bad things are going in your life, or suffering that's there, when that sun comes up, you can have the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ, when your remember that pictures the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Every single day it's there.
"The Easter sunrise service is pagan. They used to eat little children at sunrise..." No. Do you know why there's the Easter sunrise service? Because of the sun that rose. That's the point. That's what it's about. But people want to de-Christianize and Judaize our nation. I want nothing to do with it. I love the Lord Jesus Christ, my Saviour and I will preach His death, burial and resurrection as the primary focal point of my ministry. That is the Gospel. It is the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. To everyone that believeth to the Jew first and also to Greek. It doesn't matter whether you're Jew, Gentile. You have to believe unto Jesus to be saved and the power of the Gospel is the resurrection. That's where the victory is. It's amazing to me how you can read a plan of salvation that goes on for two pages and never mentions the resurrection. But it's all about how you need to turn from your sins or repent from your sins...No. Salvations are believing in Jesus and specifically believing in His death, burial and resurrection. So that power of God unto salvation is not some testimony about how you gave up all your sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll; that's not the power of God unto salvation. The power of God unto salvation is the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer:
Father, Thank you for this day when we could remember the significance of your resurrection, Lord. It is the most significant thing in our religion, in our lives, in our world today, Lord. Help us to preach it from the house-tops, preach it from house to house, Lord, and please just fill us with your spirit on this Sunday morning, Lord. Help us to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.