The Glorious Resurrection of Jesus

Sermon delivered on April 1st, 2018
Sunday Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-23



The doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is a major and vital doctrine of Christianity. It is one doctrine that sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world. The late Dr. Billy Graham once said, "If I were an enemy of Christianity, I would aim right at the Resurrection, because that is the heart of Christianity."


Dr. Billy Graham was right. This doctrine is constantly and consistently attacked by skeptics, agnostics, atheists, liberals, cults and even religious people.


The resurrection of Jesus is foundational to the Christian faith. The resurrection of Jesus is so important that Paul writes, 

1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 


Then later he says, 

1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.


The resurrection is an essential part of the Gospel.

1 Corinthians 15:1 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:


Paul knew that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no Gospel and that our salvation could not have been possible. He was also convinced a person could not be saved without believing in the resurrection of Jesus.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


It's no wonder Paul, the other apostles, and every leader in the early church continually proclaimed Christ's resurrection as the culmination of His ministry. Those men were so captivated by the significance of the resurrection that they could not help but preach it. And that should be our attitude today.


This morning consider with me four important things about the resurrection of Jesus Christ - the Prophesy of Christ's Resurrection, the Proof of Christ's Resurrection, the Power of Christ's Resurrection, and the Product (Fruit) of Christ's Resurrection.


I — The Prophecy of Christ's Resurrection 

1 Corinthians 15:1 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:

Here we are told that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were recorded in the Scriptures. Notice the words "according to the scriptures". These events were accurately and faithfully recorded in the Scriptures by holy men of God as they were moved and inspired by God the Holy Ghost.


But not only that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were recorded in the Scriptures they were also predicted in the Scriptures long before it took place. Since our focus this morning is about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, allow me to mention some Scripture verses where this event was predicted. The resurrection was not an event about which men knew nothing. It had been predicted long before it took place. 


1. The Old Testament

Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9: Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hellneither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.


Psalm 30:1 I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2: O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3: O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.


Psalm 118:21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. 22: The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23: This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. 24: This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.


If these verses are carefully read and studied, one would understand that the coming Messiah would be put to death and then rise again victoriously.


2. Jesus Christ Himself

Our Lord Himself made some clear statements regarding His resurrection before it happened.

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20: Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21:  But he spake of the temple of his body. 22: When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.


Matthew 17:22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.


Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 31: Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32: But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.


So it is clear that the resurrection was prophesied and predicted long before it took place. The prediction of the resurrection and the fulfillment of it prove that Jesus is worthy to be followed and worshipped.


One day a little girl proclaimed her faith as a Christian. A skeptic responded by saying, "Which Christ? Aren't there many?" Her answer was a classic. She said, "Sir, I know that there are many pretenders, but I worship the One Who rose from the dead!"


II — The Proof of Christ's Resurrection 

Like the death and burial of Jesus Christ, His resurrection is a well-documented and well-established event in history. It is not based on a religious feeling or unsupported rumor. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a myth or legend but a historical fact with solid evidence to support it


For the sake of time I will give one of the many undeniable proofs that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead. The resurrection Jesus Christ is supported by actual eyewitnesses. 

1 Corinthians 15:5 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.

Paul cited as undeniable evidence the more than 500 eyewitnesses, who saw Jesus after He arose. He was seen by over 500 eye-witnesses at once, along with numerous other appearances to His disciples.  That fact of His resurrection is attested by a myriad of personal eye-witnesses, by the ongoing life of the church as well.


There were more witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus than to the signing of the Declaration of Independence! Yet, no one doubts that that document was signed! How is it that some try to doubt the resurrection?


By the way, there is no contradiction here when Paul said that the twelve saw the resurrected Christ. We know that Judas hung himself and so he is gone and there were only eleven apostles left. But Paul was not talking about the individual number but he was talking about the unit, the whole group, the apostles.


Some would say that it was just a hallucination. Lee Strobel an atheist who attempted to disprove the resurrection but became a follower of Jesus Christ went to his psychologist friend ...

"I went to a psychologist friend and said if 500 people claimed to see Jesus after He died, it was just a hallucination. He said hallucinations are an individual event. If 500 people have the same hallucination, that's a bigger miracle than the resurrection."


1 Corinthians 15:5 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.

This letter of Paul to the Corinthians was written within a few years after the death of Jesus Christ. So at the time of Paul's writing, many of those witnesses were still alive. Paul was inviting people to check out the facts. A greater part of these first-hand witnesses were still alive available for questioning


III — The Power of Christ's Resurrection 

The disciples were saddened and discouraged by the death of Jesus and were hiding in fear. But then three days later they were filled with joy and power and courage. Why? They were eye-witnesses of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They gave testimony that they saw the Lord Jesus Christ came back to life. And many of them faced torture and death threats for their eye-witness testimony. They were willing to die for what they believe in. They were willing to die because they knew the truth. People are not willing to die for something they do not believe in. Yet, the disciples were willing to give up everything, including their lives because they believed Jesus was alive!


These disciples were forever transformed after the resurrection! The only explanation is that He rose from the dead. Jesus lives!


Just look at what happened to Paul. Paul was living proof of the power of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. 


Here is a man who was a violent persecutor of the followers of Jesus Christ,

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2: And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3: As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.


Here is a man who was a violent persecutor of the followers of Jesus Christ, but he had a personal encounter with the resurrected Christ and then what happened to him? Listen to his testimony ...

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet (worthy) 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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

He remembers what he was and now he testifies as to what God in His resurrected power has done to change his life. That's the power of the resurrected Christ!


IV — The Product of His Resurrection 

What is the end-result or the fruit of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 

Paul describes Jesus's resurrection as the firstfruits of all believers who have died. "Firstfruits" is an agricultural term that points to the initial quality of the harvest. 


"The firstfruits were what first sprung out of the earth, were soonest ripe, and were first reaped and gathered in, and then offered unto the Lord; so Christ first rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, and presented Himself to God as the representative of His people ..."

Paul is saying that Christ's resurrection is the 'firstfruits' of the resurrection 'harvest' that includes the resurrection of believers.


It is the earnest or the pledge, that the whole resurrection harvest will follow, so that our faith is not vain, nor our hope limited to this life. What this means is that the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstfruits of all them that died, guarantees that everyone else who are followers of Jesus Christ shall rise too.

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.


Hallelujah, What a Saviour!


Closing Thoughts

Christianity is the only religion with a living originator. Buddha is dead, Mohammed is dead, Carl Marx is dead, Confucius is dead, Manalo is dead. A dead Saviour cannot save anyone! Thank God, the Author and Finisher of our faith is not dead. Our Saviour lives! I like what Matthew says in ...

Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.


The place where they laid our Lord is empty. Jesus Christ lives! Our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death, hell, and the grave forever. Because He lives, we live! Because He lives, those who believe in Him have everlasting life. Because He lives, life itself is worth living! Because He lives, I want to live! Thank God for the resurrection! No matter how dark the day may be, no matter how tough life may be, because He lives we have hope and we can face tomorrow.


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone;

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living,

Just because He lives!



Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Because Jesus lives, God had accepted His death as payment for the sins of all who will put their faith in Him. Therefore, He sees us not as sinners, but as saints through the blood of Jesus!