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Resurrection Now

(Look at the person next to you and say, “You look like you could use a good resurrection!”)

The story of the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Good Friday represents the darkest day in the history of the world when an angry mob called for the crucifixion of Christ and Roman soldiers carried out the orders of execution.

Illustration on a talk show: “Bewildered” calls in and says: Our Preacher said on Easter that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that the disciples nursed him back to health. What do you think? Swooned is not a conscious state, but a person is not dead.

Answer to bewildered: Beat your pastor with a cat-o-nine tails 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross; hang him in the sun for six hours; run a spear through his side; put him in an airless tomb for 36 hours and see what happens.

There should not be any reasonable doubt about the death of Christ. Let’s turn to the scriptures and find out what happened after his death.

Resurrection is a key term that is used in the Bible.

First is the Resurrection of Two Thousand Years Ago

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words,

There is more evidence for the resurrection of Christ than for the majority of historical events that we accept as true without question. There is more evidence for the resurrection than the big bang theory. There is more evidence for the resurrection than for evolution. There is more evidence for the resurrection than for Columbus discovering America.

What do we know about the resurrection of Christ?

Here is the evidence cited by the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 15:3 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.

Second is the Resurrection that is Still to Come

Do you really know who you are?  Did you ever have a moment of intense self-consciousness when you became aware of yourself as a living soul? That’s because you are a living soul! When God created man, he breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul!

Why is that important? Because it puts you into a class above the plants and animals. It even makes you more than just a physical body. In fact, we could even say that you are not a body with a soul, but a soul with a body. The soul is what makes you you; it is what make you unique. The soul will outlive the body. The soul is eternal. And so, after death has destroyed your body, it’s not over.

The dead will rise again—either to eternal life or eternal death.

When we talk about the graves opening up and souls being resurrected, we mean that the real you will be summoned before God, the Righteous Judge, to give an account.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Acts 14:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

It is not surprising that there are people today who do not believe this. There were people in Bible days that didn’t believe it either. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this and countered their arguments:

I Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.  16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.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.

What is the main reason why people reject this truth? Because it is unscientific? Mythical? Illogical? Unreasonable? No. Not really. The real reason is because it is way too frightening to think about. It scares a lot of people to think they will be held accountable for their actions. It is much more convenient to think that they will simply cease to exist; that they will never have to answer for lies, fraud, crimes, unfaithfulness…all the shame they caused.

But I have a solemn obligation to preach the Word.

Here is what the Bible says about the last judgment.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

On the other hand, those who are ready to go can look forward to the day when they will be raised up in the resurrection.

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

But you can enjoy your resurrection now!

There is an experience you can have in this life.  It is called the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  (Acts 2:1-4;John 3:3-5)

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is essentially God’s Spirit coming to live inside of you. We receive it by faith. But, God does not leave it only in the realm of faith. God has transformed it into an actual experience. You will feel something when the Holy Spirit enters. You may laugh; you may shake; you may leap for joy; you may dance.

There is one confirming evidence that you will have that is common all—you will speak with other tongues as the Spirit gives the evidence, just like the Day of Pentecost.

You may wonder why you need to receive the Holy Ghost.

Because Jesus said, “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”

It is your “Now Resurrection.”

But let me tell you of another connection.

There is a connection between the Holy Ghost baptism and the resurrection you will experience when Christ comes to claim his church.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The greatest experience you will ever have in this life is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Do you have it today? It is available for you the moment you believe.

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

So, there are three resurrections:

The Resurrection of Christ: A fact of history. Your Resurrection: A fact of the future. Your Spiritual Resurrection: A possibility of the present.  Your spiritual resurrection is the one you can do something about today!


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