Our Resurrection Promise
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
31 March 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
1 Corinthians 15:19-28
This is Resurrection Day, a day that we are to focus upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and the hope and promise that it brings to us and the whole world.
Unfortunately, if we think about Easter, it brings with it all the wrong images: such as Easter baskets, Easter bunnies, including the one with the chocolate eggs, baby chickens, and colored Easter eggs and the hunts that are set up for children, and many other worldly ways of taking our minds away from the true meaning and message of Resurrection Day.
We hope we all remember the message we were given in John 3:16.
16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
First of all, this message tells us that Jesus’ coming was for the benefit of the whole world, and not just human beings; but it did bring the hope to those who truly believe in Him that they shall have eternal life.
And we also need to remember that true belief and faith is reflected in our lives for the world to see. They shall know us by our fruit.
This is part of our resurrection promise.
Let’s go back and reflect upon this day some two thousand years ago, as we are told in Luke 24:1-12.
1. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.
The spices were traditional in those days to anoint the body of the dead, for they obviously expected to find the dead body of Jesus in the tomb.
2. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3. but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4. And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel;
5. and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?
6. “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,
7. saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
It is this rising from the dead, this resurrection that is the proof of future fulfillment of the promise.
If we seek a dead Jesus and want to anoint Him as a sign of our respect, or we celebrate his death, by killing and eating other animals on this day as a way of receiving the promise, we will not find it.
As the angels told the women, we cannot find the spiritual risen Jesus and the promise it brings by looking for the death in this world; it is not among the dead.
8. And they remembered His words,
9. and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.
11. And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
This is the reason that most people fail to see and receive the promise of the resurrection; it appears to them as nonsense, and they would rather celebrate this day with colored eggs from tortured chickens, and rejoice over the corpse of a roasted animal on their table.
12. [But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at that which had happened.]
But Peter still went home instead of spreading the good news, and he even went against the Lord’s direction, by returning to killing fish, as we are told elsewhere.
This is not the way to receive the promise of the resurrection. It is not found among the dead. It is found among the living.
Let’s now take a look at the way that Paul views this resurrection promise as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:19-28.
19. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
The resurrection promise is seen in both the life of Jesus upon this earth, and also in the spiritual realm.
If we are the ones seeking to live in the heavenly will of God, where there is no longer any pain, mourning or death (Revelation 21:4), then we will find Jesus and the promise; but for those who are not living in the heavenly will of God, they will not find the promise, for they are still part of the earthly dead.
20. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
21. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
23. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,
24. then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
This is the final end to all corruption upon the earth, but this doesn’t mean that we are to wait until that time to help free creation from its present corruption, for then it will be too late.
We are to be the loving, compassionate and peacemaking children of God who oppose the evil upon the earth in the here and now. We are the ones who begin to free creation, in preparation for Jesus’ return
25. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
This is the thousand year reign of Christ when He returns.
26. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
And this happens when Satan is abolished forever from heaven and earth.
27. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.
28. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.
This is the resurrection of the earth.
It is a parallel to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is a parallel to the spiritual resurrection of all those who have died in Christ.
This is the promise of the resurrection.
This final state is the way God intended the heavens and the earth to be in the beginning when He created everything.
Because of this we should be filled with Joy; for like Jesus, we have spiritually risen above the corruption of the world.
And in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, we can help free creation from its present corruption into the glory of God.
We can set the example of true compassionate living and help others see the errors of their worldly ways.
We can help end the warring madness in the world through our example of love for one another.
By living a vegan lifestyle as God originally intended, we can convince others to do the same; and together we can help legally free the animals from the horrible suffering that has been inflicted upon them.
We can bring peace to the world.
This is living in the resurrection promise.
This is the happy part of Resurrection Day.