“Jesus’ resurrection promises your resurrection”

  • Jeff Crotts
Sunset shining through the clouds on to trees

We are coming up on Resurrection Sunday (“Easter Sunday!”), so I thought I would write this blog based on Paul’s argument from 1 Corinthians 15, answering why it is ludicrous for Christians to doubt Christ’s resurrection. Put another way, we believe Jesus rose from the grave, with certainty. Perhaps you can use this brief Bible study (below) to re-engage your heart (…your kid’s hearts?) over the next few days leading up to Sunday, April 17.

There is no way of knowing whether my outline will help you, but I can say, having re-read these points over the years has drawn my mind back to the significance of Christ’s resurrection. I have preached these points a few times and readily admit there is nothing extra-special about them but with that said, I don’t want you to miss that Paul makes a big deal between affirming the resurrection with 100% certainty or just giving lip service to it. Is Christianity all the way real to you or is it more of a maybe? Putting this kind of point on the pencil should make this topic personal as to where you truly stand with Christ. Do you believe that after Jesus died, he rose? Do you know this as a fact? If not, then ask yourself whether you are truly born again and whether you need to take your first step in faith toward Jesus?

Think about it, the theme of resurrection in Paul’s day and our modern-day has been the driving force behind missionaries investing their entire lives to give to gospel to unreached people all over the world. Believing in the resurrection answers what happens when people die. The message of the gospel tells us that everyone who surrenders his life to Christ awaits an amazing reward, guaranteed for them on the other side. When someone is fully convinced that they (like the resurrected Lord) will be resurrected, this makes heaven an exceedingly better place than being here! Heaven outstrips anything we could ever imagine and cling to down here on earth.

The significance and gravity of this biblical theme could not have been felt more deeply, as was felt during Russ Edward’s funeral that was held only a few days ago. If you were one of the hundreds who attended, then like me, you experienced the collective witness of “Yes and Amen!” expressed by so many who spoke on behalf of Russ’s godly testimony. I admit that I am given to hyperbole but not this time. It is not a stretch to say everyone was impacted by the variety of speakers who celebrated Russ’s humble and meek life, someone who loved Christ supremely and loved his family and others with like dedication and sincerity.

Potent sadness was felt from losing someone as real, down to earth, and gentile as Russ, but this same sadness was juxtaposed with a certainty that heaven is real and that Russ is there with Jesus. Russ lived a life fixed on Jesus’ mission and Russ’s final days were affixed on Jesus’ mission. It was spoken of how this was especially evident just before he went home. As Russ’s physical body was breaking down, Russ’s spirit and countenance were livening up; bold exhortations to spread the Gospel were plenty! Russ radiated with resurrection-confidence, knowing that while he was letting go of this world and a worn-down body, he would soon be face to face in the Lord’s presence, to one day inherit a resurrection body like Jesus.

Paul’s message in this text simplifies this single challenge: “The resurrection is either all the way real or not real at all!” If Christ’s resurrection is a sham, then we have been wasting untold amounts of time and resources saying it is worth staking our lives on, while in fact, it really isn’t. How foolish and hopeless Christians would be if this life is all that there is. Nothing worthwhile behind the grave. Worse than that, if the resurrection is not true, then we are still locked up in the guilt of our sin that secretly condemns us.

By contrast! If the resurrection is true, and since it is, we have a whole lot to celebrate and look forward to when we die. Because Jesus rose, our sin is defeated. Jesus won, and since he won, all believers share this victory. Christ was raised, so you likewise will be raised! We understand Christ’s victory is for his own glory, but we also claim this victory as our own, as we likewise will be raised in glory; a glory that lasts for eternity. One final word. If you have not yet given your life to Jesus, do it today! Why? Because Christ is Risen!  


“In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20)

Being certain Jesus was raised from the dead is based on Paul’s two arguments.

1. Paul argues from what is lost if Christ has not been raised (1 Cor. 15:12-19)

           a.The message was untrue

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, ahow can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

          b.The missionaries were unsafe

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:13-15 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, athen not even Christ has been raised.

14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that ahe raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.

          c. The Mediator was unsuccessful

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:16-17 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and ayou are still in your sins.

           d. The mission was a failure

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:18-19 Then those also who ahave fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

18 Then those also who ahave fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19 If in Christ we have hope1 in this life only, awe are of all people most to be pitied.

 2. Paul argues for what is gained since Christ has been raised (vv. 20-28)

           aThe message was true

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:20-22 But in fact aChrist has been raised from the dead, bthe firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as aby a man came death, bby a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.22 For aas in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

           b. The missionaries were safe

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then aat his coming bthose who belong to Christ.

           c. The Mediator was successful

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers athe kingdom to God the Father after destroying bevery rule and every authority and power.

          d.The mission was accomplished

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:25-28 For he must reign auntil he has put all his enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy to be adestroyed is death.27 For a“God1 has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.28 When aall things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that bGod may be all in all.