April 1, 2018

In Christ Shall All Be Made Alive

Pastor: Ben Muresan Topic: Resurrection Sunday Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:21–24

First Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Matthew 22:34-40

Second Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-20

The sermon text will be 1 Corinthians 15:20-24, a theologically rich passage that explains the connection between the resurrection of Christ and the assurance we have of being raised on the last day. The Westminster Larger Catechism provides a good summary of the hope we have:

Q. 87. What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?

A. We are to believe that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the selfsame bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ. The bodies of the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as their head, shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body; and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonor by him, as an offended judge.

Tim Keller describes the resurrection of the Lord Jesus as “the hinge upon which the story of the world pivots.” Jesus died in our place to bear the curse of the law, and his resurrection is evidence of his victory over Satan, sin, and death. Christ’s resurrection is the most decisive event in the history of  the world, an event that was foretold in the Scriptures and fulfilled according to God’s purpose and  plan. The Apostle Paul explains that Christ’s resurrection is the “firstfruits” of what God will  accomplish on a cosmic scale when all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5). Pastor Mark Jones  writes:  

We are citizens of heaven passing as pilgrims through this world to our heavenly home, as Abraham did (Hebrews 11:10). We belong in heaven, and are seated there now, because we were raised with Christ. Our inner man has, therefore, already been “raised” (so to speak): “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). True, the physical resurrection of the body is something we eagerly await and will yet experience. But the payment has been made; Christ has been raised, and we are, in a sense, as resurrected as we will ever be.