The Gospel of the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
INTRODUCTION: In John 11:25, ''I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.''
Lee Strobel, THE CASE FOR CHRIST, said ''Every single shred of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is also evidence for my eventual resurrection.''
Hank Hanegraaff said, ''You see, without resurrection there is no hope. Indeed, without resurrection, there is no Christianity.''
Josh McDowell, a Christian apologist, said, ''After more than 700 hours of studying this subject and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, OR it is the most fantastic fact of history.''
The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.
With this in mind, D. James Kennedy said, ''The evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been examined more carefully than the evidence for any other fact in history.''
The gospel of Easter is ''Jesus is alive!'' In the early church, as in many churches today, believers greeted one another on Easter Day by saying, ''Christ is risen,'' to which the others would respond, ''He is risen, indeed.''
Just as the heart pumps life-giving blood to every part of the body, so the truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of the gospel truth. Again, without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.
I. THE REVELATION OF THE RESURRECTION. v.1-2
A. COMMENCES WITH AN EXHORTATION. 1
Paul REVEALS several truths:
1. A MESSAGE TO BE PROCLAIMED.
''the gospel which I preached to you'' - means to preach the gospel; middle voice, emphasizing the subject's participation in the action. In this way Paul stressed his own participation in the gospel he had preached. This gave the message LIFE, PASSION, and HEART.
In 1 Cor. 15:5-8 the Bible records that many saw Jesus alive after His death on the cross. Three that are mentioned by name are:
PETER - a fisherman changed by Jesus that became a mighty preacher of the Cross.
1 Peter 3:18, ''For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.''
PAUL - himself a persecutor of Jesus' followers that now is used to write most of the New Testament books. Later, he dies for what he preaches.
JAMES - Jesus' half-brother.
John 7:5, ''For neither did his brethren believe in Him.''
Before this appearance, James was embarrassed by Jesus. Afterwards, James was willing to die for Jesus. As the Jewish historian Josephus reports, ''James was st ...
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