Sermon:  Resurrection (pt 6): The day death died

Summary:  The resurrection of Christ was his defeat over death not only for himself, 
but also for all who believe in him.  This means that as Christ was raised from the 
dead, those of us that belong to him will be raised from the dead with a glorified 
body like his.

Know:  Jesus' resurrection means the hope of life with him in a restored body for 
those that belong to Christ

Feel:  Hopefulness in Christ

Do:  Reflect on what the resurrection of Christ does for Christians.

Text:  1 Cor 15:20-26, 35-52; 1 Thess 4:13-18

Scripture Reading:  1 Jn 3:1-3

1.  Story is told of a missionary in Brazil, discovered a tribe dying of disease
	a.  Hospital short distance away, but across a river that natives believed 
	      were full of spirits that would take their life
	b.  Missionary told them he crossed it, they not impressed, then
		- Missionary touched the water, they still not impressed
		- Missionary waded waist deep, they still would not cross
	c.  Wasn't until missionary dove in, and emerged on the other side and 
	      punched a victorious fist in the air that the natives would cross
	d.  The missionary had entered the water and escaped
2.  Jesus entered into Hades, and not only escaped but destroyed its power
	a.  What that means is that death need not imprison any one
	b.  Death is not the end, but the transition into true life
	c.  Isn't that a great encouragement and hope?
	d.  Wouldn't you like to know more about it and how to make sure you 
	     have this hope?
3.  Text is from 1 Corinthians
	a.  The whole chapter is about the Gospel (v.1-8)
	b.  Focus of the rest of the chapter is on the resurrection
	c.  We will focus on what the resurrection of Christ does for us

I.  (v.20-26) - Defeated Death
	A.  When Jesus arose from the grave, his defeat of death was not just a 
	      personal victory, but one for us as well
	B.  The text compares Adam and Jesus
		1.  In Adam all die
			a.  Because Adam sinned, he died
			b.  It didn't stop with Adam
				-  (Rom 5:12) - Through one man, sin came into the 
				   world, and death spread to all, all sinned
				- Where does a child learn to sin?
				- Where did the parent learn to sin
				- Can trace it all back to where?  To Adam.
		2.  In Christ, we will all be made alive
			a.  Christ is the "first fruits" of those who have died
				- But Jesus was not the first or the only to rise from 
				  the dead
					-- 2 Kng 4 - Shunamite woman's son
					-- Mk 5 - Daughter of Jairus
					-- Jn 11 - Lazarus
				- But everyone else died again
				-They unwrapped Lazarus, but he would one day 
				  need those burial clothes again
				- Jesus would NEVER need burial clothes again
					-- Rom 6:9 - Jesus rose, never to die again
					-- Jesus truly conquered death
			b.  First-fruits brings to mind the BEGINNING of harvest
				- The first-fruits were brought to God
				- This was just the beginning of the harvest
				- There was a bountiful harvest to come
				- We are that harvest
		3.  Only two "races"  - Race of Adam, and of Christ (Rom 5:17-21)
			a.  In the race of Adam: Sin, death, condemnation
			b.  Race of Christ:  Justification, Life, Grace
			c.  For Christians, we are no longer in Adam, but Christ
		4.  The one common enemy to us all is death
			a.  It is no respecter of persons
			b.  It has power equally over everyone
			c.  It is the last enemy to be destroyed
	C.  ILL:  Have you every heard of Harry Houdini?
		1.  Famous escape artist
			a.  Laughed at shackles, locks and chains
			b.  Said to have the flexibility of an ell, the lives of a cat
			c.  Sealed him in coffins, riveted in a boiler, sowed him into a 
			     canvas bag, locked into maximum security prison, and he 
		2.  But in Oct 1926 - Death imprisoned him, and he could not 
		3.  Told his wife - If any way out of death, I will find it.  Will contact 
		      you on the anniversary of my death
		4.  After his death, his widow kept a candle burning at the bottom of 
		     his portrait, then blew it out - He could not escape death
	D.  Only escape from death is through Jesus
		1.  Those of us that belong to him will raise up to new life
		2.  What will that be like?  

II.  (v.35-49) Promises a glorified body
	A.  In other words, we will not be disembodied spirits or ghosts 
	B.  This text uses some analogies
		1.  Seed
			a.  Seed has to die, to be planted
			b.  When it does, it becomes more than a seed
			c.  Can think of cemeteries as gardens, full of seeds
				- When a body is buried, it is like a seed
				- It will not stay there
			d.  When Christ returns, there will be a resurrection 
		2.  Fleshes
			a.  Not every living being has the same kind of flesh
			b.  Man, beasts, birds, and fish are very different
			c.  We don't have scales, feathers, or fur
			d.  They are different, but still have physical substance
		3.  The things in space
			a.  There is the sun, moon and stars
			b.  They are all different from each other
			c.  They all differ from each other in splendor and glory  
				- You can look at the moon
				- You can not look directly at the son
			d.  They are different, but have "bodies" or "matter" 
		4.  The point - There is a resurrection BODY, and it is different
			a.  Like a seed, it is sown in weakness, in dishonor, 
			b.  But raised in power, in honor, imperishable
			c.  "Spiritual body" does not mean ghostly, disembodied
				- We will have a new body - imperishable
				- Will bear the image of the heavenly, which is what 
				   the scripture reading reminded us of
			d.  Opinion - Maybe this is why it took a little for them to 
			      recognize the resurrected Jesus?
				- He rose bodily, but what came out of the grave was 
				  more than what went in?
				- He rose, and was changed, was glorified
				- Rom 8- All created subjected to futility and 
				   corruption due to sin, we age, get sick, we die
				- What would we look like without that corruption?
	C.  ILL:  Valerie's Mother Edna was in the hospital for weeks
		1.  She asked that everything be disconnected so she could die
		2.  At the funeral, she started crying, "Momma, please wake up!"
		3.  One of the brethren said, "Val, you can't wake her up, I can't 
		     wake her up, but some day Jesus will come, and he will wake 
		     her up"
	D.  What a glorious awakening to new life that will be
		1.  (v.50-52) We will have bodies
		2.  We will serve God in joy without tears, sickness or death
		3.  Death and hades will be thrown into the lake of fire
		4.  We will rise from the dead

III.  Comfort (1 Thess 4:13-18)
	A.  The resurrection of Christ gives us hope
		1.  That means our grief when someone dies is in hope
		2.  We do not grieve as those do that have no hope
	B.  It doesn't matter if you have already died, or are alive when he comes
		1.  First thing that will happen - A great sound
			a.  The shout/cry from the Lord
			b.  The voice of the arch-angel
			c.  The final trumpet will sound
		2.  We will be changed - 1 Cor 15:52
			a.  In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye
			b.  Our bodies will be changed - imperishable
		3.  The dead will rise first, followed by the rest of us
			a.  The dead in Christ will come out of their graves first
			b.  The rest will  be caught up together with them
			c.  Will meet the Lord in the air
		4.  We shall always be with the Lord
			a.  What a comfort
			b.  We are to comfort each other with this
	C.  ILL:  Father was visiting in a hotel with his little daughter
		1.  Daughter got sick and died without warning
			a.  Father heart-broken
			b.  First lost his wife, now his only child
		2.  At the cemetery, unlocked the casket and took one final look
			a.  Locked the casket
			b.  Handed the keys to the keeper of the cemetary
		3.  While walking back, the minister quoted Rev. 1:18
			"I am the living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive 
			forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."
		4.  Grief-stricken Father asked, "What does that mean about the 
			a.  Minister response - "It means that you may think that the 
			     cemetery keeper has the keys to your daughter's casket
			b.  that is not true, they are in the hands of Jesus
			c.  Someday, he will open it, and she will raise to life
	D.  Yes, Jesus has the keys
		1.  No one need to fear being imprisoned by death
		2.  Jesus unlocked the shackles and sets us free from sin and 

1.  The bodily resurrection of Christ is very significant - Death dies, life lives
	a.  I haven't mentioned yet - Those that do NOT belong to Christ
	b.  They will be raised as well
	c.  Rev 1:8 - Every eye will see him, even those that pierced him
	d.  Jn 5:29 - All in tombs will hear his voice, 
		- Some come forth to a resurrection of life
		- Others to a resurrection of judgment
2.  Resurrection of life can be found only in Christ
	a.  Can't be found in wealth, achievement in life, fame, etc.
	b.  Can't be found in Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, New Age
	c.  ILL:  A Buddhist was converted to Christianity in Africa
		- When asked why he did this, here was his response:
		- If you were walking along and came to a fork in the road, two men 
		   were there, one dead, the other alive, which would you choose?
	d.  Jesus defeated sin and death, and hope can only be found in him (inv)
3.  Remember to comfort one another with these words
	a.  This life is just a drop in the bucket
	b.  This life is also a crossroads
	c.  Which way will you choose?

Small Group Questions:  Resurrection (pt 3): The day death died

Summary:  The resurrection of Christ was his defeat over death not only for himself, but 
also for all who believe in him.  This means that as Christ was raised from the dead, 
those of us that belong to him will be raised from the dead with a glorified body like 

- What is your favorite fruit?

Explore:  1 Cor 15:20-26, 35-52

1.  What does it mean to say Christ is the "firstfruits" of those who have fallen asleep?

2.  Discuss the things that will be different about our resurrected "spiritual" body than 
our earthy "natural" body?

3.  In what ways will we be "like him" when he appears (1 Jn 3:1-3)?  

4.  Compare and contrast those that are "in Adam" to those who are "in Christ."

5.  (1 Thess 4:13 - 5:6) - What practical exhortation does this text give to Christians 
concerning the resurrection?


6.  Are you "in Adam" or "in Christ?"

7.  How should this affect your priorities and decisions?

8.  How should this affect your relationship with others?

9.  What are some specific ways you can put this lesson to use?  What are some specific 
benefits for you from this lesson?