Family Bible Study lesson for March 31: Anticipating Resurrection
March 14 2002 by Lisa Horton , 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-20

Family Bible Study lesson for March 31: Anticipating Resurrection | Friday, March 15, 2002

Friday, March 15, 2002

Family Bible Study lesson for March 31: Anticipating Resurrection

By Lisa Horton 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-20

There are many famous tombs that attract thousands of visitors each year. These tombs are famous because of what they contain. But Jesus' tomb is famous because it is empty!

Reality of Christ's Resurrection (I Corinthians 15:3-8) The Apostle Paul declares the reality of Jesus' resurrection and offers two irrefutable proofs that Jesus rose from the dead. The first proof is the fulfillment of scripture. Paul says that Christ died for our sins, was buried and raised on the third day "according to the scripture" (verse 3-4). Jesus fulfilled every prophetic scripture concerning His death and resurrection (Is. 53:5-12; Ps. 16:10). He also fulfilled His own predictions with complete accuracy (Luke 18:31-33).

The second proof of Jesus' resurrection was the account of many eyewitnesses. Hundreds of people saw the resurrected Christ. Paul lists the eyewitnesses and notes that many of them were still living when he wrote this letter to the Corinthians (verse 5-8).

Jesus' resurrection is a historical fact!

Hopelessness of No Resurrection (I Corinthians 15:12-18) There will always be people who deny the resurrection. According to research by the Barna Research Group in 1997, 39 percent of Americans do not believe Jesus experienced a physical resurrection. Thirty-five percent of those claiming to be born again Christians deny His resurrection.

Others try to downplay the importance of the resurrection, such as an Arlington, Va., minister who said, "We have closed our minds to such trivial considerations as the question of the resurrection of Christ. We have more important things to preach than the presence or absence of an empty tomb 20 centuries old."

But Jesus' resurrection is extremely important. It is central to our faith! His resurrection proves that He is God and that our sins are forgiven. Paul says that if the dead are not raised, then Jesus was not raised either. If Jesus was not raised, then those who thought they were dying in Christ actually died lost. Without resurrection, Christians are the most miserable of all people because we have a faith that is only fiction. Without resurrection, there is no motive for living, no future to look forward to, and no hope of heaven. If Jesus was not resurrected, our faith is useless and we are still in our sins.

Years ago a submarine was rammed by another ship and quickly sank. The entire crew was trapped in its prison of death as the oxygen slowly gave out. A diver placed his helmeted ear to the side of the vessel and listened. He heard someone tapping out a message in Morse Code. The question came slowly: "Is ... there ... any ... hope?"

Likewise, if Jesus is not risen, then we are drowning in a sea of sin with no hope of being saved.

Assurance of Believers' Resurrection (I Corinthians 15:19-20) But, praise God, there is hope! Paul says that Christ has indeed risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that sleep. The word "first fruits" comes from the Feast of First Fruits mentioned in Lev. 23:10-11 in which the first sample of harvested grain was offered unto God. Jesus' resurrection is a sample of what every believer will experience when God reaps the harvest of believers.

Nathan Oats, a 4-month-old baby, stopped breathing and could not be revived by his mother or the medical workers. First aid failed. But, upon hearing the emergency siren, Nathan jumped, coughed and struggled back to life.

Someday, God's heavenly "siren" will sound and the dead in Christ will be resurrected! 1 Thess. 4:16-18 says, "The Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

Jesus promises that a time will come when those who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out (John 5:28-29). He says, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).

Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If so, you can celebrate the resurrection - not just on Easter Sunday, but every day of your life!

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3/14/2002 11:00:00 PM by Lisa Horton , 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-20 | with 0 comments
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