Recently, an Iranian man faced death by hanging for a murder he committed. The mother of the victim, expected to initiate the hanging, instead forgave him and subsequently freed him. This surprises us because it happened in Iran and it wasn’t supposed to go that way. He was supposed to hang.
This is the resurrection. It was a brutal event that brought forth both beauty and power. This actual event, accomplished by Christ, makes for real response in the hearts of believers.
First, we believe. If Jesus arose from the dead, then he can do anything. I can trust him because he can do it. A myriad of possibilities are unleashed to us through faith. By trusting in him, we bring the kingdom of God into our lives. This is the first tangible response.
Second, we preach. If Jesus rose from the dead and I trust him with my life, then I’m going to talk about it. I cannot help but speak about it. This is real, it is not theory, I preach from objective truth which is working in my life! Of course I preach.
Third, we hope. We can use the word hope like an exalted wish. For instance, we might say “I hope my team wins.” We do not know if the team will win, we are expressing a desire that it does. Biblical hope is not so whimsical. Hope means I know what is coming and I’m waiting for it. We confidently expect it soon. This hope arms us with the fuel to handle the drudgery of sin and a fallen world. Most specifically, we are placing our hope in Christ for a personal resurrection upon death.
Lastly, we stabilize. Paul concludes this chapter with noting death’s impotence against us. It has no power over us. Knowing our Lord rules now, knowing he has conquered the power of death, knowing what is coming to us ought to produce a stability that does not wash away.
Yes, the resurrection is an unexpected turn of events that produces life in us. That brutal reality now works an even greater good in us while we await what is rightly coming to us.
This message was preached from 1 Corinthians 15:12-28. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.