Class Notes: 3/23/2008
1 Cor 15:13-19 Resurrection Sunday Resurrection Rationale Matt 28:6 "He is Risen"
Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, because we are looking forward to the fulfillment of our confident expectation which occurs at his appearing when we will see him and we will be like him.
The importance of our Lord’s sacrificial death on the cross is emphasized in the presentation of the Gospel. It is the unmerited favor of God that presented His Son as a Substitute for us and it is the unconditional love of Jesus Christ who submitted Himself to be judged for our sins. As a result of His substitutionary sacrifice anyone on this planet who places their faith in His Person will be saved.
John 3:16 provides a concise presentation of this information.
Jesus presented this information to Nicodemus just after the Passover that came during the first year of his public ministry in approximately 26AD. The Lord’s crucifixion would not occur for another three years and the details of His work on the cross were not yet clear to most of those who believed in Him and came to follow Him.
The Old Testament, prophesies especially Isaiah 53, contain many references to these details,
As Jesus' life in Unglorified Humanity progressed he clearly presented His Messianic identity through His miracles, His healings, and His fulfillment of all of the prophecies recorded in scripture regarding his first advent.
When He arrived at the cross He was not only qualified to become the Substitute for the fallen human race which was lost in sin but also He had also clearly revealed to those who had objectivity that he was the Messiah.
When His work on the cross was completed in precise compliance with the salvation plan of God there remained one more thing that had to be accomplished before salvation and eternal life could become a reality for those who believe in Christ.
TLJC had to be physically raised from the dead in resurrection body. Without this resurrection there could be no salvation.
This is the resurrection that we celebrate today.
1Cor 15:12 b; indicates that some of the members of the Corinthian church were of the belief that believers would not acquire a literal resurrection body. They contended that there would be a “spiritual” resurrection but not a physical one.
Verse 12 begins with the conditional particle plus the indicative mood of the verb “egeiro” which sets up the protasis of a first class condition. This is a statement of fact that calls into question the claim of some of the Corinthians which is expressed in the apodosis: “… how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
Taking this as a premise, Paul enters into a debater’s technique in which he makes the assumption that their claim is true. He then systematically demonstrates the fallacy of their contention starting in verse 13 and continuing through verse 19.
In these seven verses Paul takes the position for the sake of argument that there is no resurrection of the dead. He uses the debater’s technique with a series of first class conditions assumed to be true for the purpose of debate.
1Cor15: 13 -But let us assume if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;
v. 14 - and let us assume if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also in vain.
v. 15 - Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised the Messiah, whom He did not raise, if we are to assume in fact the dead are not raised.
v. 16 - For let us assume if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
v. 17 - and let us assume if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
v. 18 - Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
v. 19 - Let us assume if we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
Paul successfully argues that if there is no resurrection then there is no salvation and as a result we would be forced to conclude that even Christ was not resurrected.
He goes on to show that without the resurrection of Christ we are still in our sins and therefore our faith in Christ is worthless.
The resurrection of Christ is absolute proof that the Father was satisfied with his work on the cross. If we are to conclude that there is no resurrection then Christ was not resurrected and therefore His work on the cross is found to be insufficient before the righteousness and justice of God.
The Corinthians who held this heretical view were not only rebuked by Paul’s logic but also by the testimony of Old Testament heroes that we will examine to discover the power that confidence in the resurrection provided them as they applied it to their spiritual life through the faith-rest drill as a problem solving device.
We find Abraham in Heb 11:8-12; which chronicles the faith-rest decisions he made from his conversion in Ur through his life in Canaan.
Abraham understood that his eternal destiny was to live in heaven with the Lord and was determined that he would never cease to search for the Eternal City until he discovered it.
Hebrews 11:8 - By means of faith-rest in a doctrinal rationale Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out [from Ur] to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance (Abrahamic & Palestinian covenants); and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
v. 9 - By faith-rest in a doctrinal rationale he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;
v. 10 - for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
v. 13 - All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were able to focus on the unseen future where they were confident they would reside in a permanent eternal city “whose architect and builder is God.”
If they were to live in an eternal city they would also have to have the capacity to exist in such an environment which implies an understanding of a resurrection body.
This wisdom had already been manifest by Abraham when he was ordered to offer Isaac as a sacrifice in:
Genesis 22:1 - Now it came about after these things, that God tested "nasah " Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
v. 2 - And He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
These mandates are filled with typology: Isaac becomes a type of Christ while Abraham illustrates God the Father. Abraham’s only son portrays the Messiah as the uniquely born Son of God and Abraham’s love for Isaac speaks of the Father’s personal love for Jesus.
God the Father loved His Son in an immeasurable way, but was willing to offer him as a sacrifice for the entire human race. Abraham loved Isaac in the way any Father would love his son. That he was being asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice posed the maximum test for Abraham’s faith in the reality of God’s eternal city.
The explanation given for why God would command Abraham to do such a thing is that He was testing him. The Hebrew word for “testing” is "nasah" which carries the idea of testing for the purpose of proving the quality of someone or something.
Genesis 22:9 - Then they [Abraham, Isaac, and two attendants] came to the place of which God had told them; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.
Genesis 22:10 -And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took a knife to slay his son.
v. 11 - But the angel of the Lord [a theophany of Jesus Christ] called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, “Here I am.”
v. 12 - And He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.”
Abraham had been placed under a maximum level of testing and had passed the test as God knew he would. If Abraham could pass this test then whatever else he would face later on would be insignificant by comparison.
And what was the doctrinal rationale that Abraham applied in his use of the faith-rest drill on Mount Moriah?
We learn the answer in Hebrews 11:17 -By means of faith-rest in doctrinal rationales, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
v. 18 - it was he to whom it was said, Gen 21:12; “In Isaac you descendants shall be called.”
Abraham was being tested. The word translated "tested” is the present passive participle of the Greek verb "peirazo" which is almost the same as the Hebrew "nasah" “to try someone; to put to the test in order to assess one’s value.”
Under this testing when Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac his first doctrinal rationale is stated in the phrase “and he who had received the promises.”
Abraham had received two unconditional and immutable covenants from God: the Abrahamic Covenant which promised that he would be the patriarch of a great nation in Genesis 12:3 and the Palestinian Covenant which said that this nation would occupy a Promised Land described in Gen 15:18-21; Gen17: 6-8;
These covenants were later granted to Isaac when the Lord informed Abraham and Sarah that she would become pregnant with a son. Abraham, who was 100 years old, did not believe this at the time and offered the compromise of Ishmael: Genesis 17: 18-19;
Typology is also presented in Heb 11:17 when Isaac is described as Abraham’s “only begotten son” who he “offered up” as a sacrifice.
The second doctrinal rational appears in Heb 11:18; where the Abrahamic covenant is again confirmed through Isaac—not through Ishmael:
Abraham's confidence was based in the two unconditional covenants given to Him by God which meant that there was no way that the sacrifice of Isaac could possibly prevent them from being fulfilled, not only to him but also to Isaac and his descendents.
It is from these rationales that Abraham reached the doctrinal conclusion that enabled him to with the faith, obedience, and the confidence to go through the process of sacrificing Isaac on Mount Moriah.
This doctrinal conclusion is stated in Hebrews 11:19 -Abraham considered that God is able [through omnipotence] to raise men [Isaac] even from the dead [resurrection]; from which he also received him back [Isaac was recalled from the sacrificial wooden altar on Moriah] as a type [Isaac became a teaching aid to illustrate the sacrifice of the Messiah on the wooden cross of Calvary].
There is great power in the resurrection. It confirms the satisfaction of the Father with our Lord’s sacrificial work on the cross, it guarantees our eternal future, and in the struggle of the Angelic Conflict it provides a major doctrinal rationale that can be used as a problem-solving device.
Abraham’s ability to put grace into action and completely rely on the immutability and veracity of God’s Word enabled him to pass the test and become the only person in Scripture specifically designated as the friend of God: Isaiah 41:8; 2Chronicles 20:7, and James 2:23.
The Lord learned through the test he gave Abraham that He could trust him. At the same time, Abraham learned that he could trust the Lord. From such trust comes friendship. And this friendship was built on Abraham’s faith and trust in the Lord to honor His promises through a doctrinal rationale that placed absolute confidence in the resurrection of the believer.
The prophet Daniel also used the resurrection as a problem-solving device when he applied the faith-rest drill to the future of the Jewish people. While a teenager, Daniel was taken to Babylon as a POW following Nebuchanezzar’s capture of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Through Jeremiah, the Lord prophesied this event and revealed that the captivity would last 70 years: Jeremiah 25:11; Jeremiah 29:10
Daniel realized from these prophecies that the time was drawing near for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and prays that God would confirm this to him. Gabriel is sent to Babylon to answer his prayer:
Daniel 9:24 - “Seventy weeks [70 x 7 = 490 years] have been decreed * chathach: cut out of time] for your people [Israel] and your holy city [Jerusalem], to make and end of sin [terminate the 5th cycle], to make an end to sin [the baptism of fire for the Jews], to make atonement for iniquity [the regathering of the Diaspora], to bring in everlasting righteousness [resurrection of Old Testament saints], to seal up vision and prophecy [terminate the dispensation of Israel], and to anoint the most holy place [ the Lord’s dedication of the millennial temple ].
This prophetical timeline is interrupted by the intercalation of the Church Age leaving seven years remaining. The dispensation of Israel will not resume until the exit resurrection or Rapture of the church occurs and then the final seven years called the Tribulation will occur. Details of this future dispensation which actually concludes the dispensation of Israel are prophesied in Daniel chapters 11 and 12.
In Daniel 12 Gabriel provides Daniel with the prophecy of the resurrection of Jewish believers at the Second Advent which can be used as a doctrinal rationale from which Daniel can reach a doctrinal conclusion of absolute confidence regarding his and his fellow Israelites eternal future by using the Faith Rest Drill.
Daniel 12:1-2; - Daniel prophesies about the resurrection and reveals it to be a future reality for all Old Testament saints and Tribulational martyrs at the Second Advent of the Messiah.
We often reference Job who was placed under evidence testing during which he was required to utilize maximum recall of doctrine. He, was sustained by his confidence in the resurrection which he expresses in Job 19:23-26;
Joseph also demonstrated his confidence in the resurrection of the saints by his last will and testament which required that his body be withheld from burial until after the Jews entered into the Promised Land.
The fact that the Israelites honored his request confirms their confidence as well. We see Joseph’s last request in: Gen 50:24-26;
Joseph’s thinking, was focused on the faith-rest drill. His doctrinal rationales were similar to Abraham’s. He was confident that the unconditional Palestinian covenant would be fulfilled and therefore he knew his brothers would eventually return to the land. Consequently, he gave the order that he was not to be buried in Egypt but in the Promised Land.
Joseph's request was fulfilled in Exodus 13:19; for forty years the Israelites carried Joseph’s coffin around the desert and finally into the land of Canaan. Once the country was conquered we find that Joseph’s wishes were finally carried out in: Joshua 24:32;
This entire episode is a testimony to Joseph’s belief in the resurrection as well as for those Israelites who carried his coffin around for 40 years. Because of his confidence in the resurrection and his confidence that the Israelites would eventually conquer the land, Joseph knew if his remains were returned to Canaan then at the command of the Messiah he would be resurrected with his brethren from the family plot at Shechem.
Hebrews 11:22 -By means of faith-rest in doctrinal conclusions Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
Some believers at Corinth were busily denying the very doctrinal rationale that sustained the faith-rest heroes we have looked at today. Paul used the debater’s technique in 1 Corinthians 15:13-19 to effectively exposed the fallacy of their contention that there was no bodily resurrection. If this were true, asserts Paul, then:
“even Christ has not been raised” (v. 13-17),
their “faith also is vain” (v. 14),
their “faith is worthless” (v. 17),
they “are still in their sins” (v. 17),
those who have died “have perished” (v. 18), and
“we are of all men most to be pitied” (v. 19).
Paul then refutes these heresies with a bold statement of biblical and historical fact:
1 Corinthians 15:20 - But now Christ has been raised [intensive perfect passive indicative of the verb ‘egeirō”] from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
The Greek perfect tense presents an action which has been completed and which exists in a finished state. Here the verb "egeirō" is an intensive perfect placing emphasis upon these existing results as a finished product.
It is a strong way of saying that Jesus Christ has been resurrected and emphasizes that He remains resurrected in hypostatic union at the right hand of the Father.
The passive voice indicates that it was by the power of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit that the Lord received the action of being resurrected “from the dead.”
The indicative mood is a statement of fact, documentation of biblical and historical reality.
Today we have seen how the Old Testament faith-rest heroes' perspective was formed by their absolute confidence in the resurrection of the dead. From Paul’s defense of the resurrection of TLJC we have retrospective proof of the resurrection of our Lord. And because He is risen so shall we too have a resurrection body at the exit resurrection or rapture of the church. 1 Corinthians 15:23-24;
Paul’s dissertation on resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 is the most extensive in Scripture. His closing crescendo provides a powerful conclusion to our study today. From it we are able to confidently conclude that since Christ has in fact been resurrected we shall also be resurrected “at His coming” 1Cor 15:51-53;
May the certainty of our Lord’s resurrection which we celebrate today and that has been demonstrated from Scripture be a source of encouragement and confidence because it not only certified our deliverance from sin but also guarantees every believer a resurrection body in the eternal state.
May the faith-rest confidence in doctrinal rationales, demonstrated by Old Testament heroes and affirmed by Paul, enable you to be even more motivated by the confirmation of the Lord’s resurrection which was proclaimed by the angel beside the tomb on that first Resurrection Sunday morning approximately 1978 years ago... Matthew 28:6 - “He is not here, for He has risen.
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