How Are the Dead Raised?   I Corinthians 15:35-49  (vv. 35-38)

Think Spring!  Just 3 weeks & 3 days away!   Most of us have had about enough of snow, snow, snow and cold, cold, cold.  Spring brings New life—grass, leaves, flowers, baby animals, etc.     A rebirth—a resurrection, as it were.

Today we consider the resurrection of the body.  Each of the 3 ecumenical creeds mentions it as a key doctrine/teaching of the Christian faith.

Apostles’ ends:  “I believe in…the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.  Amen.

Nicene:  I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

Athanasian:  At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds.  And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.

So this doctrine is indeed an important part of our faith, and possibly one that we do not think or talk enough about.  Today’s text will greatly help us in this respect.

There are some mistaken ideas about what happens when we die.  Some think that we simply cease to exist—that this life is all that there is.  The Sadducees of Jesus’ day were like this—they we the liberal theologians who said there was no resurrection. If there is not resurrection, we Christians are a pretty miserable lot!

Some think that we become angels when we die.  Not so.  Angels are angels, and people are people.  Jesus did say that we would be like angels in that we do not marry in heaven.  Nor do we become stars in the sky, though Daniel 12 teaches us that those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.

A further false teaching or belief is that we are reincarnated when we die.  We  might come back as another human being, or even some sort of animal.  Again, the Bible knows nothing of this sort of thinking which is common to the Hindu faith.

So, what do the Scriptures teach?  They teach that we will be raised on that last day when our Lord returns to judge the living and the dead.  It teaches that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (Acts 24:15).  Because Jesus lives, we shall live also.  (John 14:19)