Prayer Focus: Turkmenistan

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15-16

Scripture

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 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 to be pitied more than all men.  1 Corinthians 15:12-19

Observation

The heart of the gospels is the climax; Jesus appearing to his disciples after being bodily raised from the dead.  It’s the twist ending that no one was expecting, but the entire thing hinges on.

However, there were many who didn’t believe in the resurrection and there was precedent for that.  The Sadducees, a sect in Judaism, did not believe in a resurrection.  The Gnostics, who started showing up in the Christian churches later in the first century, believed that flesh was evil and spirit was good.  They taught that Jesus was only spiritually raised from the dead and must have shed the evil flesh when rose again.  Yet, the Apostles, who knew Jesus personally, saw Jesus in the flesh after he rose from the dead and that’s what they taught.  Yet, just like today, many of the Christians then would believe what sounded good rather than what was actually true.  That false teaching continues today and right around Easter every year you’ll see the documentaries on “what really happened after Jesus died.”  James Cameron tried to fool the world with the Jesus Family Tomb claiming to have found the bones of Jesus.  Even after scholars (Christian and non-Christian) found it laughable it still gets airplay.

Application

But why are we so quick to believe that Jesus didn’t rise from the grave?

It’s an interesting question to ponder because Paul makes it plain that Christianity hangs on the Resurrection of Christ.  If it didn’t happen and we’re saying it did, then we’re all just pitiful fools.  If it did happen, and we say it didn’t, we aren’t saved.  The Resurrection is as essential and critical as you can get.  Which puts us in a very precarious position because the most basic and essential component of Christianity is to believe something that science and our natural minds tell us couldn’t possibly be true.

It’s outlandish.

And yet, hundreds of people saw it with their own eyes.  It was a miracle.  Well, it was a miracle to us.  To God it was just another day at the office, so to speak.  After all if God can create the universe simply by speaking it into existing then he can raise Jesus from the dead.

The only question left is; are you ready to believe something so outlandish?

Prayer

Dear Lord, as Paul said You are indeed raised from the dead.  You have paid the penalty for our sins and rescued us from death and hell.  The more I look at my own life in contrast to how great You are the only part left that is truly outlandish is that you would bother to save me at all.  But thankfully You did it for Your glory to show how great a God you are and when You are glorified we benefit.  We are the recipients of Your love, grace and mercy because You rose again both body and spirit.  Amen.

Advertisements