04/08/12 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
THE GREAT REVERSAL
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
“Resurrection” is an unusual word. The Holy Spirit had the apostles after Jesus borrow a foreign language to write the New Testament. It was Greek. Greek cultures didn’t take seriously a reversal from death. They didn’t even have a word to describe it. The Holy Spirit had the Bible writers use normal Greek words to verbalize this phenomenon. One meant “to raise, to arouse.” The other meant “to wake someone up.”
How can Jesus be the first, when Lazarus came back to life weeks earlier (15:20)?
Greek philosophy didn’t have a problem with the concept of people’s souls living on for eternity. They believed your soul is in a prison when it’s in a human body. They viewed the body as weak and temporary. They saw what happened after burial. They believed the atoms of your body simply decomposed and disbursed into the pool of atoms in the universe. They believed a person’s essential life force spent eternity as a “shade” in a place under the earth in a dreary, unhappy world. People in Athens, Greece laughed at Paul when he talked up the idea of the body returning to life. Corinth was not that far away in southern Greece.
Since Jesus earned us a bright physical future, why does death have to cramp our style (15:19, 21-23; Romans 5:12)?
The Old Testament Bible first exposed people to the concept of a great reversal for human bodies. Early in history Job spoke about it (19:25). The Psalm also put the teaching to music (16:10; 17:15). Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2 are some of the more obvious Old Testament references to this Bible teaching.
Since God wants to bring people’s bodies back to life, why doesn’t He just wave a magic wand over cemeteries? Why make Jesus part of the process (15:21)?
Why be a Christian if we only suffer through life and have nothing good to look forward to after this life (15:19)? The mass return to life of every human body is the key to understanding the past, and the doorway to confidence about the future.
Why does Adam always get the blame for the sin when Eve ate first (15:21-22)?
Jesus’ physical return to life and our own physical return to life have a connection. To deny either means turning your back on the news about Jesus in general.
Why does Jesus bring the bodies of even non-believers to life (15:22)?
Putting your foot on your enemy’s neck pictured a total defeat, what happens as part of a Roman “triumph” parade. This was where the phrase came from to put someone “under your feet.”
6. Why and how will Jesus destroy “all dominion, authority and power” (15:24; Philippians 2:10; Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 6:12)?
7. Why won’t God put an end to death earlier (15:26)?
When God takes dead, disintegrated corpses and reconstitutes them and revives them, this is revolutionary. No one ever could have guessed this kind of bright future for humans. Everything hinges on a seemingly defeated Savior’s involvement.
1. How does this section connect to Mark 16:1-8? What’s the connection to Isaiah 25:6-9?
George’s wife recently got terminal cancer diagnosis. She has four more weeks to live. They’re both believers. What do you say when you meet up with them?
Let’s say the shoe’s on the other foot. You’re the terminal case. What do you want George and his wife (no cancer) to say when they talk to you?