Christ Is Alive – Part 1

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Christ Is Alive - Part 1
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I Corinthians 15:1-11

From the very beginning, skeptics ridiculed the resurrection of Christ. I use the designation Christ because that is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning “The Anointed One.” He had a special mission when He came.

By the term Messiah, I assume that Jesus of Nazareth was He whom God anointed as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the sins of all men, women, and children throughout history and around the world. Knowledge of and belief in Him releases His sacrifice to do its work in all who believe. God promised and predicted to the serpent in Eden that the Seed of the woman would crush his head. That promise looked forward to the only begotten Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. He is “the Seed of the Woman.” But His resurrection has been ridiculed for centuries.

The ridicule began immediately following the event, first by the lie that the disciples stole Jesus’ body. The Pharisees could not deny His death. They knew He was buried. They knew which tomb contained His body. They prevailed on Pilate to seal the tomb with his official Roman seal, and to set a guard to prevent Jesus’ followers from stealing the body. Yet afterward the religious leaders bribed those soldiers to lie and tell the public that the disciples stole the body while they slept—an offense punishable by death. How much it cost them to buy off the soldiers and the Roman governor we are not told. But unscrupulous persons stop at nothing.

Christianity rises or falls on the ground of the resurrection of Christ. If His body rotted in a Palestinian grave, then my message that your salvation rests on His death has no value. But I want to show you how convincingly Paul sets the stage for us to emphatically say CHRIST IS ALIVE! Let us look to I Corinthians 15:1-11:

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

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

6 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.

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

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11 Therefore whether [it were] I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

These verses hold PROPOSITIONS that cannot be denied and that we must affirm if we are to reap the benefits of the death of Christ.

The first proposition is:

THE RESURRECTION IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE GOSPEL

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Notice how Paul begins the chapter. His message was well known. When he preached it, the Corinthians received it gladly. He said he had received it. In other words, he did not think up the idea, but it was given to him, probably almost immediately when he was saved, on the Damascus Road, and no doubt was further developed during his time in Arabia. And it saved these Corinthians—if they received it properly if they received it basically. Then it saved them. He said unless it was superficially received.

Paul preached to the Jews in Antioch. Observe what he said in Acts 13:26-35:

Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher. But God raised him from the dead: and he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Paul preached the resurrection to the Gentiles in Athens. Here’s what he said to them in Acts 17: 29-31:

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Do you see it; do you understand it?

This resurrection proposition has three basic elements, and Paul names them here: (1) Jesus was crucified according to the Scriptures; (2) He died for our sins according to the Scriptures; (3) He was buried and arose on the third day according to the Scriptures. This is an undeniable proposition. The Resurrection Is the Foundation of the Gospel.

It is good to remind ourselves that our salvation was accomplished by these simple truths. At the same time they are profound truths, for it took the wisdom and outstanding love of God to design and carry out the salvation plan. No ordinary human could have done what Christ did, to become man, to suffer and die as a man, and then to rise from the dead. His resurrection is proof that He lived a sinless life and did not die for His own sin—He had none.

Now while these words about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are simple words, they are essential. The Resurrection Is the Foundation of the Gospel.

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