Shadows Don't Sting - South Jordan
Big Question: How should we approach DEATH?
Key Truth: The facts of the resurrection have to be CLEAR in your mind before they can be a COMFORT to your soul.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one born at the wrong time.
Question: What are the facts?
- EMPTY tomb.
- EYEWITNESS testimony.
- CHANGED lives.
Christianity can’t be true, because the written accounts of the resurrection are based on the testimony of women—and we all know that women are hysterical. –Celsus (Greek philosopher, 2nd century A.D.)
Skeptics must provide more than alternative theories to the resurrection; they must provide first-century evidence for those theories. -Gary Habermas
Gospel Truth: DEATH is the prerequisite to resurrection, the new LIFE God intends.
2 Corinthians 5:15 …He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
1 Peter 2:24 "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Gospel Reminder: Because he went first I know that death is something everyone has to FACE, but I don’t I have to FEAR.
1 Corinthians 15:14-23 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised.
1 Corinthians 15:54-55When this happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
And to the extent that that future is real to you, it will change everything about how you live in the present. For example, why is it so hard to face suffering? Why is it so hard to face disability and disease? Why is it so hard to do the right thing if you know it’s going to cost you money, reputation, maybe even your life? Why is it so hard to face your own death or the death of loved ones? It’s so hard because we think this broken world is the only world we’re ever going to have. It’s easy to feel as if this money is the only wealth I’ll ever have, as if this body is the only body we’ll ever have. Jesus is risen, then your future is so much more beautiful, and so much more certain, that. -Tim Keller (The King’s Cross, p.222)
Final Fact: Because Jesus went first… the WORST thing is never the LAST thing.