04/15/12 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
ARE CEMETERIES PEACEFUL?
1 Corinthians 15:12-22
“We don’t use the word “rise” very often. We might use it to describe what happens once yeast works through bread dough. People say, “Rise, and shine!” when they want to wake someone up. The Holy Spirit used Greek, a foreign language, for the New Testament. Greek cultures weren’t interested in reversing death. Greek had no word for dead bodies coming to life. The Holy Spirit used words like we use for bread dough or wake up calls. Without Jesus’ return to life, Christianity makes no sense. Neither does life.
Think of people’s skepticism with “Jesus-back-to-life” stories. (15:12).
How would you answer?
a) Jesus’ dead body is still in that tomb. It never came back to life. Fans made the whole thing up.
b) Jesus’ body isn’t in that cave. His trainees stole it to make Jesus a legend.
c) Jesus never really died on the cross. He passed out. Later, in the tomb, He revived. He made His way out of the tomb and made public appearances.
d) Jesus’ enemies got rid of the body as part of their risk management plan.
Jesus’ friends took this to mean that Jesus had returned to life.
Greek philosophy believed people lived on after death without bodies. 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 far away in southern Greece.
Why do some people say Jesus’ return to life has more evidence than many other ancient historical “facts” (15: 3-8, 12)?
Most serious Jews believed in a mass return to life of every dead body (Dan 12:2). The nucleus of the Christian group in Corinth was transplanted Jews. If one of them rejected this general teaching, that person also had to reject Jesus’ return to life.
Many believe a spiritual form of existence is a much higher form of living. Why is having a physical, eternal body a positive (15:15-16)?
What does “you are still in your sins” mean (15:17)?
How does Easter change that (15:17)?
Paradise is the home of disembodied souls (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4). Why is our forwarding address with our bodies back the same thing (Revelation 2:7)?
7. What does “lost” (15:18) mean?
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.
8. How does Jesus’ death and return to life make a mockery of evolution (15:21-22)?
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 John 20:19-31? What’s the connection to Acts 26:19-29?
A cemetery is a peaceful place. Agree or disagree?
What’s the difference between Christian funerals and other funerals?