Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus in our Present Crisis
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
It was quite abnormal to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ because of this present crisis, and we‘ve never celebrated it in isolation like this before. But we have to celebrate it because it is one of the most important events in human history. And it has been said many times, that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith.
I. The Meaning of Resurrection.
What does Resurrection mean? Resurrection came from the Greek word (Anastasis) which means “raising up from the sleep”. Sleep is a common biblical euphemism for death. Hence, resurrection is a literal body resurrection from the dead. It is not a soul sleep because the Bible said, “ 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8.
· The whole chapter 15 of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, contains the most extensive teaching of the Resurrection in the Bible.
· The whole message of the gospel includes the Resurrection of Jesus.
· The Christian faith is based in 4 things: the teachings of the church vv.1-2; the Scriptures v.3; the reliable firsthand eyewitness testimony v.5; the multitude of believers who witnessed the Resurrected Christ v.6; and from the apostle Paul who personally talked with the Risen Jesus, v.8.
II. The Reasons for Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.
1. His Resurrection paved the way for the resurrection of believers.
“20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20.
The first fruit “speaks of the first installment of harvest to eternal life, in which Christ’s Resurrection will precipitate and guarantee that all saints who have died will be resurrected also.” John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, pg. 1606.
· The believers’ resurrection will happen in the 2nd coming of Jesus. See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
· The Resurrection gives us unquenchable hope and therefore we can celebrate it even in our present crisis.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
2. His Resurrection demonstrated that Jesus defeated death.
“21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:21.
““54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.
· And that we will have an imperishable body fit for heaven.
3. His Resurrection guaranteed God’s presence in our life.
“’God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’” Hebrews 13:5.
· We can celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus because God is with us even in this present crisis.
· We celebrate not the dead Christ, but the ever living and breathing victorious Lord.
Friends let’s celebrate the Resurrected Christ today with your family. Gather them around the Lord’s table and tell them about Jesus, and what He has done for us. In our isolation, we don’t have to live in fear, we can have that unquenchable hope in the Resurrection of Jesus to give us joy, encouragement and strength to weather this crisis with a lot of ease.