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The resurrection is the doctrine that puts power and reality to the rest of the gospel. Modernism has attacked some basic doctrines as this one, with the intent of making the gospel message be little more than a good story, and having as little effect on society as a social club. The resurrection is the power of the gospel, and there is no hope of heaven, no hope of deliverance from sins, and no promise of a rapture and resurrection for us, if Christ was not resurrected.

The resurrection is one of the most attacked tenets of the faith. Along with creation, the virgin birth, the atonement of the blood of Jesus for our sins. the rapture of the church, and the second coming of Christ Jesus - the resurrection is a vital doctrine that must be defended.

Many deny the possibility of the resurrection. Others spiritualize it until it has been robbed of all significance. Many fanatical interpretations are cloaked, and yet, the reality of a bodily, physical resurrection is the part they want to deny. Some quibble about the manner of the resurrection, and say they believe in an immortal soul, but the idea of a resurrected body is abhorrent to them... Paul answers them with:

I Corinthians 15:36

"Thou fool..."

The resurrection of Christ Jesus, and our own resurrection, are interrelated. One cannot exist without the other. If we do not have that certainty of the resurrection of Jesus, then we have no assurance that our sins are forgiven, and that we will someday be resurrected or raptured. The whole prophecy of the future eternal rewards would fall and crumble... if there were no bodily resurrection of Jesus.

I Corinthians 15:16-19

"For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is even in vain; ye are yet in your sins. 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."

Paul re- established to the church at Corinth, that the doctrine of the resurrection was not a negotiable doctrine. This doctrine was the inspiration of all of Paul's apostolic teaching.

There are four main parts of the gospel message:


1. The death of Jesus Christ for our sins...


2. The burial of Jesus Christ...


3. The resurrection of Jesus Christ...


4. The manifestation of Jesus Christ after the resurrection.


I Corinthians 15:3-8

"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."


The Romans had gone to great effort to keep the body from being stolen. And no fake could have ever fooled the apostles as to effect the changes in their lives as the resurrection had.


Peter had gone from an impetuous, weak, vacillating disciple - to being the apostle who could preach sermons with thousands responding to the Lord Jesus in salvation at their conclusion. He could suddenly remain true to Jesus even if it meant prison, or was life threatening.


Thomas doubted the resurrection of Jesus, until he was confronted by the risen Lord, and the doubt was totally eliminated.


Paul changed from being the chief antagonist against Jesus' disciples, to being the apostle of the Gentiles who would suffer shipwreck, beatings, imprisonments, and ultimately martyrdom for the sake of this resurrected Jesus.



This resurrected Jesus Christ appeared to:


Mary Magdalene


Mark 16:9 (KJV)

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.


John 20:14-16 (KJV)

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.



Women at the tomb


Matthew 28:9 (KJV)

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.


Two disciples on the road to Emmaus


Luke 24:13-31 (KJV)

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, ... And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

... And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.




Luke 24:33-34 (KJV)

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.


1 Corinthians 15:5 (KJV)

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:


The ten disciples


John 20:19 (KJV)

Then the same day at evening, 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.



The eleven disciples


John 20:26 (KJV)

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.


The seven disciples


John 21:1-4 (KJV)

1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.

2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.


The eleven on a certain mountain in Galilee


Matthew 28:16-17 (KJV)

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.


The twelve including Matthias


1 Corinthians 15:5 (KJV)

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

Acts 1:26 (KJV)

And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


500 brethren at once


1 Corinthians 15:6 (KJV)

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.


James, the Lord's brother


1 Corinthians 15:7 (KJV)

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

Galatians 1:19 (KJV)

But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.


All the apostles


1 Corinthians 15:7 (KJV)

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.


Mark 16:19 (KJV)

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.


Luke 24:50-51 (KJV)

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.


Acts 1:3-5 (KJV)

3 To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of Me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.





I Corinthians 15:14

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain."


If Christ Jesus was not resurrected then all of Christianity would be a hoax. Were the disciples false witnesses? Did they lie to the world, and start a religion based on a falsehood? This is an appalling thought. The whole of Christianity would fall, if the resurrection were not an actual, literal event.




If the resurrection of Christ Jesus were not true:


1. we would have no guarantee of our own resurrection


I Corinthians 15:12-13, 20-23

"Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection from the dead? But if there be no resurrection from the dead, then is Christ not risen?... 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, 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..."


2. our preaching is vain


I Corinthians 15:14

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain..."



3. our faith is vain


I Corinthians 15:14,17

"And if Christ be not risen, then... your faith is in vain also..."


4. we are liars


I Corinthians 15:15

"Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ."


5. we are yet in our sins


I Corinthians 15:17

"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain, and ye are yet in your sins..."


6. all the dead are perished


I Corinthians 15:18

"Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ are perished..."


7. we have no hope, and are miserable


I Corinthians 15:19

"If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable..."


8. we are fools


I Corinthians 15:30-32

"And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die..."


9. nature is a farce


I Corinthians 15:35-49

"But some man shall 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... so also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.... It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body..."



As a pledge, and promise of our future resurrection, Jesus was raised from the dead. He was the "firstfruits" of the resurrection.


I Corinthians 15:23

"...in his own order... (Greek = "tagma" = "rank or company")"


There are five companies of resurrected ones
in the first resurrection.


1. Christ and others were resurrected three days after Christ's crucifixion...


I Corinthians 15:20

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

2. Those in the church who will be raptured soon...


I Corinthians 15:23

"...afterward, they that are Christ's at His coming."


3. The 144,000 Jews that are missionaries for Jesus during the first half of the tribulation...


Revelation 7:1-8, 12:5, 14:1-5

(12:5) "And she brought forth a man child... her child was caught up to God, and to His throne..."


4. Great multitudes of tribulation saints...


Revelation 6:9-11

"...white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed, as they were, should be fulfilled..."


5. The two witnesses of the tribulation (Enoch & Elijah)...


Revelation 11:12

"And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, 'Come up hither'. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them."


Soon, we shall be raptured, or if we die before the rapture, will be resurrected. Our body will be like unto the resurrection body of Jesus. Paul tells us here in I Corinthians 15, that there will be differences of glory in these bodies. He tells us that they will be "incorruptible" (Greek = "Aphthorsia" = "immortal". He also says that these new bodies will be "spiritual" (Greek = "pneumatikos" = "immortal substance").


Some have imagined that since they are spiritual bodies, they have no substance... Yet the spiritual body of Christ could be handled, touched, could eat, etc. The idea of our mortal bodies is that they are flesh and blood. The life is in the blood. Jesus said of His spiritual body, that it was "flesh and bone..." There was no mention of "blood", for the life of a spiritual body is the "Spirit." Thus, it will be immortal, and incorruptible because of the "Spirit" which gives it life. It will still be a physical body which can literally be touched, walk on streets of gold, occupy a heavenly mansion, etc.


Luke 24:39

"Behold, My hands and My feet, that it is Myself, handle me, and see; for a spirit (ghost) hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have..."

I Corinthians 15:39-44

"All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth for another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 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."


The Old Testament saints believed in a resurrection.


Job 19:25-27

"For I know my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me..."


How are the dead to be raised?

The analogy of the corn of wheat is used to illustrate the answer. Out of the death, the burial of the corn of wheat, comes a harvest many fold. Life reappears in a higher form. The identity remains the same, it is still wheat, but infinitely greater.

Our new resurrected bodies will be fitted for eternity.

They will have a new vitality, and a new strength. There will be no curse, no sickness, and no death to afflict these resurrected bodies. They will be like the resurrected body of Jesus.


I John 3:2

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."


There will still be recognition of others after the resurrection. The rich man recognized Lazarus after their deaths. We shall "know as we are known." Therefore, when I get to heaven, even Paul, Moses, Enoch and Elijah will instantly recognize and know me, and I will know them. Peter, James, and John - even while in their earthly bodies - recognized Elijah and Moses, whom they had never met. There is something about the spiritual bodies that make them instantly recognized.

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