Tuesday, December 8, 2009

a primer on resurrection

The Word for today:

John 20:11-31

The basics of resurrection for the Bible student--

1. Resurrection is foretold in the Old Testament:
Isaiah 25:6-8; Daniel 12:2; Job 19:23-27; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Hosea 13:14; cp. Gen 22:5 with Heb. 11:19; miracles of the dead restored to life are recorded in 2 Kings 4:32-35; 13:21.

2.  The resurrection of the Messiah (Christ) is specifically foretold in the Old Testament:
Psalm 16:10 (quoted in Acts 2:27; 13:35); Hosea 6:2.  The book of Jonah's underlying theme is resurrection, and Jesus applied it to himself in Matthew 12:39-41.

3.  Jesus raised several people from the dead:
Mark 5:21-43; Luke 7:11-17; John 11.

4.  Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection:
See #2 above concerning Jonah; Matthew 27:63; Mark 8:31; Luke 18:33; John 2:19-20.

5.  Many people witnessed the physical presence of Jesus after his resurrection and are motivated to tell others.  They are even willing to die because they know the truth:
Matthew 27, 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20, 21; Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.
     After his resurrection, Jesus could eat, speak, and work, and his disciples could touch and see him, but his new body was perfectly immortal.
     The belief in Jesus Christ's bodily resurrection defines Christianity. His victorious return from death fulfilled prophecy and proved his claims of deity.
     The resurrection means that God's plan worked! His covenant is fulfilled, the mission accomplished! It is evidence that God is satisfied with the Son's sacrifice on humanity's behalf.

6.  The Bible promises that Jesus' faithful followers will rise from the dead:
John 6:40, 44, 54; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:20-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Peter 3:18.
     The Holy Spirit, who brought Christ to life again, dwells in believers; therefore, Christians can trust that we too will rise to eternal life after we experience physical death.
     The resurrection body will be incorruptible, glorious, and powerful.

7.  The resurrection is the keystone of our faith.  Without it, Christianity is pointless:
1 Corinthians 15:12-19; 1 Peter 1:3; 3:21.
     The gospel--the Good News of our faith--is encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4--
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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.

8.  Belief in the resurrection is necessary to be a true follower of Christ:
John 11:24-25; Romans 4:25; 10:9.

9.  Two resurrections are yet future:
       a.  "the first resurrection," the resurrection of believers, which is a resurrection "to life"--
             This will occur at the second coming of Christ (1 Cor. 15:23) when the believers will meet Christ in the air (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
        b.  a second resurrection, the resurrection of unbelievers, which is a resurrection to "damnation," (John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:5-6, 11-13).
        These "first" and "second" resurrections are separated by a period of 1000 years (Rev. 20:5).

10.  But we don't have to wait for our resurrection to begin! 
Right now, today, because we have been raised with Christ through faith (Colossians 2:12; 3:1) we can know Christ and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10), the incomparably great power for us who believe, which God exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20).


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