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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
Modified 4/17, 2022
The Resurrection Factor
What is the most important event in all of human history? The answer to that will depend on what the particular individual believes is important. A military historian might point out any one of many significant military battles. An American historian might point out any one of many events that mark the founding of this nation. An egotist might point out the date of his or her own birth or some other event in it, but people are born every day, and as Solomon points out in Ecclesiastes 1, the march of time removes the people and events of the current generation from the memory of later generations. Those who are devoutly religious might point out the date of birth of the founder of their religion or some significant event in the founding of that religion. Even in Christianity, many people will point to the birth of Jesus as the most important event in history and then emphasize the point by the way they celebrate Christmas. But none of these events, including the birth of Jesus, is the most significant event in all of human history.
The important event of mankind is also not the death of any particular person or even a mass of people. Every day marks the death of thousands of people on this earth. Some die in obscurity and almost no one even notices while others have long obituaries written about them and they are mourned by many – but again, time eventually removes memory of them. However, the most important event in history is related to death for death is an enemy that strikes universal fear into the hearts of people which causes them to do all sorts of things to try to avoid it. It was that fear that enabled dictators and government bureaucrats to control the lives of billions and get them to do worthless and even destructive and dangerous things in the quest to avoid Corona virus disease – Covid. The fundamental question of humanity is has anyone conquered death and can they enable me to conquer it to? I am here this morning to answer that question with a resounding YES! For the most significant event in all of human history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That is the event that we celebrate today.
The Resurrection Event – Matthew 28:1-10
Turn to Matthew 28:1-10 where we read the resurrection story. Jesus had been crucified on Friday as the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He was buried that evening and He lay in the grave all that night, all of Saturday and with the dawning of Sunday morning, He came back to life and walked out of the tomb.
1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; 4 and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” 8 And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus ^said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see Me.”
The story is very familiar to most of us, but it is still thrilling to read it. What an exciting morning! The sight of the angel was so frightening to the guards that they shook and “became as dead men.” Mary was also afraid, but the Angel of the Lord calmed her and then pronounced the most wonderful news in history. She was looking for Jesus who had been crucified, but the Angel said, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” Jesus had conquered death as He said He would. Jesus’ promises are true. Man now had hope of eternal life.
The Resurrection Hope – Acts 23:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 1 Cor. 15:50-58
This resurrection hope is at the heart of the gospel message. The conquering of the consequence of sin, death, demonstrated that Jesus’ atonement by His own blood for our sin was adequate to redeem us and restore us to God. People could be forgiven of their sins through faith in Jesus Christ and given the assurance of eternal life. The good news of the gospel is that your sin can be forgiven and you can escape the eternal consequences of death. Like Jesus Christ, the grave will not hold you, but you will be resurrected to new life. Sin and death have been conquered. Christians need not fear them.
Many passages speak of the hope of resurrection. Paul understood that this hope was a central aspect of the gospel, and so he used it in his defense before the Sanhedrin in Acts 23 stating in verse 6, “I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead.” Immediately there arose a dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees present there for the Pharisees believed in a future resurrection and the Sadducees denied it.
Peter also marks the centrality of the hope of resurrection in the gospel message in 1 Peter 1:3-5 where he states, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
What exactly is this “living hope” that those who are born again have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ? As Peter explains here, it is in reference to the promises of a future inheritance which will be imperishable and undefiled. It cannot end and it cannot be corrupted. What exactly is it? Paul gives a good definition in 1 Corinthians 15.
In verse 35 Paul raises the question that some might ask. “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” In verses 36-49 Paul uses the analogy of planting a seed to explain how the dead are raised. You do not sow a whole plant into the ground, but just the grain of seed, and from that seed will come a whole plant that is radically different from the seed. The physical body will be placed into the grave upon death, but the resurrection body that will come from it will be radically different. Paul explains this in some detail by comparing the different kinds of bodies and flesh there are that we are familiar with – men, beasts, birds and fish. Each has a different type of body and flesh from the others. The same is true of the Sun, moon and stars. Paul further points out that the physical body is suited for life here on earth, but that we will need a spiritual body for life in heaven.
Paul gives further explanation of the nature of the resurrection body in verse 50-53 saying, “50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Those that are alive at the coming of Jesus Christ will not have to taste physical death, but they will be changed from having a perishable body to an imperishable one, from mortal to immortal in the twinkling of an eye. How fast is the “twinkling of an eye?” It is the amount of time it takes for light to travel through the cornea of the eye to the lens and be reflected back through it. In that same period of time those that had previously died will have their physical bodies raised and changed into imperishable bodies.
Some ask how that can happen if the body has already decayed or if the burial has been at sea or if the body has been cremated and the ashes scattered. While it would pose a difficulty for us to gather back the material substance in an effort to resurrect the body, if such was needed, that would not be difficul for God. However, the nature of the resurrection body is of such a radically different nature that I do not believe the physical molecules that once made up our physical bodies need to be gathered together in such a manner. The spiritual body will be of a different substance than our current physical bodies.
We only really know a few things about our future spiritual bodies. 1) They will be imperishable. 2) They will be immortal. 3) They will be like the body that Jesus displayed after His resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection body had some physical aspect for He invited Thomas to touch His hands and side (Jn. 20:27). Jesus also physically walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13f), ate broiled fish (Luke 24:41-43), and prepared breakfast for his disciples on another occasion (Jn 21:12f). Yet, Jesus also had abilities far beyond a physical body. He to could suddenly appear in a locked room (Jn 20:19, 26), and suddenly disappear while others were watching (Luke 24:31). He also rose up into the air and into the clouds at His ascension (Acts 1:9-11).
Paul concludes his explanation about the resurrection body in 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 with a statement about its ramifications and how we should live in light of its promise. “54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not [in] vain in the Lord.”
The Resurrection’s Importance – 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
It would seem that the importance of the resurrection would be understood without saying, but in Paul’s day, such a question was genuine. The New Testament had not yet been written down and when someone challenged the truth of the gospel, they could not turn to it to read a first hand account of the events. Many of the believers were relying on testimonies passed down from eye witnesses. Were the gospel accounts being accurately recounted? Had they heard and understood correctly? Was there anyone misleading them along the way? Paul addressed this question on the importance of the resurrection earlier in 1 Corinthians 15 starting in verse 12.
“12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found [to be] false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
Paul’s answer here settled the question on the resurrection, yet there are still those around in our time that claim to be Christians but do not think the physical resurrection of Jesus to be important at all. Some forcefully deny it. Such people are also those that deny that the Scriptures are true, and by creed and all life evidence they demonstrate that they are not followers of Jesus Christ. Belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is a core part of the gospel message and therefore a necessary aspect of what is believed in order to be a Christian.
Paul’s answer still applies to such denials. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then He was a liar who is now dead and therefore He cannot keep any of His promises. He cannot bring you into a relationship with God the Father. He cannot forgive your sins. He cannot grant you eternal life. Your hope in Him would be false and you would be still in your sins. As Paul states, if that were true, “we would be of all men most to be pitied.” The only hope that is worse than no hope, is a false hope, because if you have no hope, you will keep looking for it somewhere. A false hope leaves you complacent.
Paul continues on in verse 20 with the proclamation that gives us true hope. 20 “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” We can have confident assurance in this fact and therefore all the promises based upon it.
The Resurrection Difference
The resurrection of Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world in distinguishing both Him from all other men who have every lived and Christianity from all other religions.
Consider all men who have ever lived including those who have founded some religion, whether great or small. Have any of them been raised from the dead according to their own word? The answer is no, and the response of unbelievers to the resurrection is proof of how silly they think it is.
Recall the response of the Athenian philosophers when Paul mentioned the resurrection of the dead in Acts 17:22-34. All but a few sneered at him or put him off. Only a few believed what Paul proclaimed. The response is still the same today. The “elite” of society turn their noses up at the thought of Jesus’ resurrection. For them, it is a quaint religious story, but only a story and not historical truth. They reject the eye witness accounts and evidence for it because it does not match their philosophical systems, and since they have not observed anyone rise from the dead themselves they conclude it must be scientifically impossible. Their worldview supposedly does not allow for miracles, yet these same people believe evolutionary fairy tales because they match what they want to believe though they are not observable, testable or repeatable and therefore not scientific. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a central element of a spiritual battle that is waged in the hearts of men. Will they believe God or reject what He has declared in favor of some philosophical or religious system of their own?
Other religions are adamantly against the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is not surprising in the least since for another religion to accept it as true would be an acknowledgment that Jesus is superior to the founder of that religion.
Judaism rejects Jesus’ resurrection and in doing so they also reject their Messiah. The seeds of this were sown at the time by the Jewish religious leaders in Matthew 28:11-15 when they paid the guards that had been at Jesus’ grave to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body. They could have easily arrested the disciples and forced them to reveal the location of Jesus’ body and completely ended the story of the resurrection – but they did not even try that because they already knew from the soldiers that God had intervened and there was no body for Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
In regards to Judaism, Moses was a great man by all standards and he is the greatest prophet in Judaism and so Moses is revered in it. However, Moses died and was buried by the Lord in the valley opposite Beth-peor (Deut. 34:5,6). It is not known where his grave lies, but his body is still there and will remain there until the resurrection of the righteous. Moses was a great prophet, but he himself pointed to a greater prophet to come in the future (Deut. 18:14-19).
Islam denies Jesus’ resurrection by denying His death. They claim Jesus ascended, like Enoch or Elijah, without dying. Islam claims that Muhammed is the last of the prophets and superior to all former ones including Moses and Jesus. This is actually a silly claim even on its surface since several of the prophets which Islam recognizes, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, all received their revelation directly from God, while Muhammed got his revelation second hand through an angel, supposedly Gabriel. Muhammed does not compare to Jesus in any substantive manner. Muhammed was obviously a very influential man, but he was just that, a man. He lived and died and remains dead to this day. All Muslims know and believe this. Why did Muhammed die? Because death is the consequence of sin and Muhammed was a sinner even by his own admission. Jesus by contrast was sinless. No one was able to bring a valid charge against Him. He was crucified under the charge that He had blasphemed in equating Himself with God. That would be blasphemy except for the fact that it is true. Jesus is God in human flesh. Jesus died to pay the penalty of man’s sin. He then rose from the dead proving His claims to be true.
Where is Buddha? In his grave. Where is Confucius? In his grave. Where are the Hindu gurus of the past and where are its present gurus heading? The grave. Where is Joseph Smith and Brigham Young the founders of Mormonism? In their graves. Where is Joseph Rutherford the founder of Jehovah Witnesses? In his grave. Where is or where soon will be Helena Blavatsky, David Berg, Sun Myung Moon, Victor Paul Wierwille, Herbert W. Armstrong, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles & Myrtle Fillmore, each of them founders of various cults? The grave.
To date, there are only three people that have permanently escaped the grave – Enoch, Elijah and Jesus. Enoch and Elijah were translated directly to heaven. Only Jesus was resurrected, and only He can offer the hope of resurrection to His followers. That makes true Christianity very different from every other religion.
Only true Christianity can speak with confidence about what lies beyond death, because of all those who are the founders of a religion, only Jesus Christ has been there and returned to tell us about it. Only true Christianity can speak of its hope as being confident assurance for Jesus has already proven His promises to be true with the power of the resurrection. The hope of all other religions is only a wish for a better place than the present, or at least the avoidance of hell, because their founders, leaders and priests have not and cannot fulfill their promises. None of them have been on the other side of death, conquered and returned to tell their followers with assurance how to also conquer death.
Those who promote reincarnation may claim that they have died and have now returned, but there is no proof of such. There is ample proof for Jesus’ resurrection by the testimony of first hand witnesses and the radical changes in their lives following it. Reincarnation and resurrection are mutually exclusive. Either the soul transmigrates through a series of bodies or the soul only has one physical body which will be resurrected. It cannot be both. The resurrection of Jesus is proof that reincarnation is false.
I must quickly mention one additional aspect of Jesus’ resurrection that sets Him apart from any other prophets or religious leader regardless of their religion. There are several Biblical accounts of people who were raised from the dead through a prophet, an apostle or by Jesus. Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-23). Elisha raised the Shunammite’s son (2 Kings 4:32-37). The young man laid in Elisha’s tomb came back to life (2 Kings 13:21). Peter raised Tabitha (Acts 9:37-40) and Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). Jesus raised the widow’s son (Luke 7:12-15), Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-50) and Lazarus who had been dead for four days (John 11). Matthew 27:52 also records that many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised after Jesus’ resurrection and came out of their tombs to be seen in Jerusalem by many. These saints as well as Lazarus were verifiably dead when they were raised from the dead and so cannot be explained away as a resuscitation. There are claims of people being raised from the dead in other religions, though those cannot be verified. But regardless, each of these was raised by someone else and only lived the remainder of their lives until they died again. Jesus’ resurrection was radically different.
First, Jesus not only raised other people from the dead as already mentioned, but He also raised Himself just as He said He would in John 2:19-21 that He would raise up the temple of His body three days after they destroyed it, and in John 10:17–18 when He said, 17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” Jesus was verifiably dead as proven by the blood and water that flowed out when the soldier thrust his spear into Jesus’ side. He had been dead long enough that platelets and plasma had already separated because the heart was no longer pumping it around keeping it mixed. He was a dead man that raised Himself from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11).
Second, unlike everyone else that had been raised from the dead, Jesus did not die again. He walked the earth for forty days being seen by many – first, Mary, then the two on the road to Emmaus which included Peter, then the twelve in the Upper Room (less Judas), then to more than 500 in Galilee at the same time, then James, then all the apostles again. Then, as the Apostles watched, Jesus physically ascended from the Mount of Olives to heaven (Acts 1:9-11) where He is preparing a place for those that belong to Him (John 14:1-3) and sits at the right hand of the Father as High Priest interceding for them (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-15). Jesus is alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18), and one day He will return to take those who have placed their faith in Him to be with Him forevermore (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 1:7).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ sets Him apart from every other person who has every lived. His resurrection sets true Christianity apart from every other religion.
The Resurrection Identification – Romans 6:1-12
Finally, for the true Christian, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is something with which we are to personally identify in recognition of the radical change which faith in Jesus brings, and in hope of our future resurrection. Paul states in Romans 6:1-12, “1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with [Him] in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also [in the likeness] of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with [Him,] that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
If you have professed faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, then take that last admonition to heart. Consider yourself to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Christians are to live a radically different life from the world because of our faith in Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit with in us. If you have professed faith in Christ, but have not yet been baptized since you have believed, then you need to do so in personal & public identification with Christ and His death, burial and resurrection.
If you have not yet come to believe in Jesus Christ, then today is the day of salvation from the bondage of sin and its eternal consequences. The resurrection proves Jesus’ claims and promises. If you have questions you still need answered, then talk me or any of our church leaders. We would be glad to sit down with you and answer them so that your faith is based on Biblical truth and not human musings. You need to be diligent to get those questions answered while you are still alive to get them answered. Being alive tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. Hebrews 11:1 & 6 explains that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” and “without faith it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him. Isaiah 55:6 gives the invitation “Seek the Lord while He can be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” That invitation is given to you today – so again, talk with myself, any of our church leaders or the Christian that you came with today. We would love for you to know the joy and peace that we can have because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is risen!
Sermon Notes -4/17/2022
The Resurrection Factor – Selected Scriptures
What is the most important event in human history? ____________________________________________
The Resurrection Event – Matthew 28:1-10
A familiar story that is still thrilling to hear and tell _____________________________________________
Jesus conquered death as He said. His promises are __________. Man has hope of eternal life
The Resurrection Hope – Acts 23:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 1 Cor. 15:35-58
Resurrection hope is at the heart of the ___________message
Paul – Acts 23:6 _____________________________________________________
Peter – 1 Peter 1:3-5 _____________________________________________________
Our “living hope” is the promise of a future inheritance that is ___________________and undefiled
Paul’s analogy of the resurrection body – 1 Cor. 15:35-49 ________________________________________
The nature of the resurrection body – 1 Cor. 15:50-53 ___________________________________________
Those alive at Jesus’s return will be transformed & not die, and those that have died will also be _________
God can gather the remains, but the resurrection body will be radically _____________from the present one
The resurrection body will be 1) imperishable, 2) immortal, 3) like __________resurrection body
The ramifications of the promise of a future resurrection – 1 Cor. 15:54-58 __________________________
The Resurrection’s Importance – 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Paul explains the importance of the resurrection because the Bible was not yet ____________
Those that deny the physical resurrection of Jesus are ______________Christians regardless of their claims
If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then He is a liar and the gospel message is ____________
But Jesus did rise from the dead, so the gospel is the _________hope
The Resurrection Difference
The resurrection distinguishes Jesus from all ___________________who have ever lived
The response of the philosophers – past & present
They _______eyewitness accounts of miracles even when backed up by evidence
They _______evolutionary fairly tales though they are contrary to their own known principles of science
Jesus vs. Moses
Jewish religious leaders paid the guards of Jesus’ tomb to ______without an attempt to find Jesus’ body
Moses was a great man and prophet – but he pointed to a _________prophet to come (Deut. 18:14-19)
Jesus vs. Mohammad
Mohammed claimed his revelation came from an ________. Jesus received His revelation from ______
Mohammed was a sinner that died & is _________. Jesus is _________and rose alive from the grave
Jesus vs. All Religious Leaders –
They all lie in their _________or are headed there – Jesus walked out of His tomb
Christianity vs. All Religions and Cults
They all have wishes for the future while Christianity has a confident assurance _____________by Jesus
Reincarnation is _____________by the Resurrection
Resurrections in Scripture: The son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-23). The Shunammite’s son (2 Kings 4:32-37). The young man laid in Elisha’s tomb life (2 Kings 13:21). Tabitha (Acts 9:37-40). Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). The widow’s son (Luke 7:12-15). Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-50). Lazarus (John 11). The saints in Jerusalem after Jesus’ resurrection (Matthew 27:52)
These were all raised by someone else and only lived the remainder of their lives until they _____________
Jesus raised other people from the dead and He also raised _______just as He said (John 2:19-21; 10:17-18)
Jesus was __________dead – the soldier’s spear brought forth blood & plasma which were already separated
Jesus did not die again. Many saw him for 40 days, He then ________to heaven where He lives forevermore
Jesus’ ____________sets Him apart from everyone else, and Christianity from all other religions
The Resurrection Identification – Romans 6:1-12
Those who have professed faith in Jesus are to live in light of the resurrection – dead to sin, ________to God
The resurrection __________Jesus’ claims and promises
Those who do not yet believe need to be diligent to _________the Lord & get their questions answered
KIDS KORNER – Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “resurrection” is mentioned. God. 2) Discuss with your parents the importance of Jesus’ resurrection.
THINK ABOUT IT! Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the most important event in your life? In all of human history? Recount the story of resurrection of Jesus in your own words and/or read it from each of the Gospel accounts. How does this story affect you? What is the importance of the resurrection to the gospel message? How did Paul use the resurrection as part of his defense in Acts 23? What is the importance of the resurrection in 1 Peter 1? What is the “living hope” in that verse? What is the promise of inheritance? How are the dead raised? (See 1 Cor. 15). What is the resurrection body like? What is it not like? What are its characteristics? What is the “twinkling of an eye”? Do cremated bodies spread over large areas pose a problem for the resurrection? What do we know about our future spiritual body from Jesus’ post resurrection appearances? What if there had not been a resurrection? What can be said about those who deny the resurrection of Jesus? How does Jesus’ resurrection set Him apart from Moses, Mohammed, all other religious leaders? All other men? What are some ways unbelievers respond to the resurrection? Why are resurrection and reincarnation mutually exclusive? How does the resurrection make Christianity different from all other religions? In what two ways is Jesus’ resurrection radically different from all other instances of the dead being raised to life? How do we know that Jesus was actually dead? Why can Christians have such confident assurance in Jesus’ promises? What is the relationship of Baptism to Jesus’ resurrection? How should the believer live life in view of the resurrection? What should unbelievers do in response to being told about the resurrection? How are you responding to Jesus’ resurrection?
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