How Are the Dead Raised by Rick Burdette
1 Corinthians 15:35-15:49
HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED?
1 Cor 15: 35-49
There aren’t many funerals I do that I don’t share one of my favorite stories about one of my favorite preachers….
My Dad’s favorite, or one of his favorite T.V. shows growing up was He Haw…By knowing this you might understand a little about my heritage…he was from a little town outside Rock Hill, S.C. My Mom was born in Quicksand, KY…I was born and raised in Lexington, KY, but my roots are deeply countryfied. I loved Jr. Samples, Grandpa Jones, LuLu, (My Dad took special note of the He Haw Honey’s) But my favorite person on the show was a preacher named Grady Nutt….He talked about carrying around a 97 lb. scoffed reference Bible, not just for spiritual reasons, but it fend off attacks from farm dogs when he went calling. Grady Nutt reminded me a lot of my preacher, Wayne Smith…I thought he was hilarious while attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In November of 1982 his plane crashed after a speaking engagement in Calmaw Ala… Everyone on board was killed…He was 48 years old.
At his funeral one of his best friends gave the eulogy…told stories, celebrated his life and then in the midge of this time of laughter, pain, grief and joy said…”you’ all understand that Grady isn’t here don’t you…Only the shell…the Nutt has gone home.”
This body that we live in is just the shell and although every single person has an eternal soul…that gives life to those mortal bodies. These bodies are first temporary…they get cracked, they get sick, they get old…and they get destroyed…they are not designed to house our eternal souls forever.
The Apostle Paul shares this exact truth in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians…”Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, and eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (2 Cor 5:1)
Tents are designed for camping out…a couple of days at the lake…or at most temporary shelter for soldiers who are displayed in war…no one really wants to live in a tent for too long…winds blow them down, rain saturates them…bears think they’re sandwich wrappers. After about 3 days they smell like old sweat socks and its time to go home.
Sot as the apostle Paul writes about the resurrection in our text he’s dealing with the questions about this body we live in…shells and tents…what happens to them when we die….? Here’s what he writes.
1 Cor. 15: 35 “But someone may ask (and I’m pretty sure someone already has)
“How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”
Folks, despite what you’ve been told
I THERE ARE STUPID QUESTIONS
You remember when your teacher would tell you there were no stupid questions…and then someone would ask a question and everyone in the class including the teacher knew she was wrong.
[Kari and I were going through a tour of Mammoth Cave…we loved it, but I have the Ranger a hard time all through the tour…and he gave it right back…we had a blast with each other…but at the end of the day as we got ready to exit he asked…Do any of you have any questions…and my hand shot up….”I told Kari, watch this” She rolled her eyes…and as the ranger looked at me he rolled his and said “Yes” And I asked him “if all of the cave was underground”. And he cracked up…left character for a moment… and said and I quote…”Yes, stupid it’s a cave, its all underground”
Paul has been dealing with resurrection questions He’s taken us on an underground tour…and here’s a ride paraphrase of a question he’s dealing with.
“Some of you might laughing at the idea that these temporary bodies have any long term significance…you think it’s a joke and sarcastically ask…If the dead are raised what kind of bodies will they have…won’t they stink? They’re gonna look pretty ugly and zombie like aren’t they? Partially decaying, bones sticking out…why would I want to be resurrected and have to walk around in the condition?
Here’s Ranger Paul’s answer:
1 Cor. 15-36-44
What a foolish question! “When you plant a seed in the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first.
And whatever you put in the ground is not the plant that will come out of the ground.
If seeds get a new body when they die…don’t you think people will get a new body too?
“God gives it a body as He has determined and to each kind of seed He gives its own body” (v. 39)
Paul’s point …stop thinking that our resurrected bodies will be anything like these temporary shells we live in now.
II OUR RESURRECTED BODY WILL BE THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THIS TEMPORARY ONE.
This body is perishable…the resurrected body is imperishable …this body is dishonorable (it lack honor or integrity) the resurrected body will be raised in glory. This body is weak…that body will have power…This body is natural…the resurrected body will be spiritual. (V42-44)
“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
Paul tries to illustrate a basic truth…God has given different kinds of bodies to men, birds and fish…they certainly aren’t the same.
And our heavenly bodies, which will be given to us by God at the resurrection, certainly aren’t the same as the earthy ones we live in now.
He uses the word “Splendor” to describe the difference between these 2 kinds of bodies. It’s the Greek word “DOXA” and it means “Brightness or Glory”…
Paul says the Sun has one kind of this “doxa” while the moon and stars have a different kind of brightness or splendor…even the stars shine differently.
Now the catch this point…”It is the same way for the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies fill die and decay…there’s not much splendor or glory in these temporary shells…but our heavenly bodies will really shine.
That’s the extreme difference Paul expresses in his 2nd letter to these Corinthians. We’ve already looked at verse 1 in chapter 5…but look at what follows earthy tents verses eternal houses.
2 Cor 5: 2-5
Using the terms Heavenly bodies or “spiritual bodies must have drove “opponents of the resurrection” nuts…they thought bodies were evil…irrelevant….but Paul says, “You’re a fool if you think our resurrected bodies will be anything like these temporary ones we live in now…”
[Have any of you ever seen “Survivor man” or Bear Grylls “Man vs. Wild? They try to survive in the most difficult of circumstances…one of the first things they do is make a temporary shelter…like a “lean to” or branch Hut…for a week they survive on bugs, snakes, plants…but then they’re picked up by helicopter and flown home. Even these rugged dudes are excited to get to their real home…it’s not easy to survive in the wild.]
Paul’s whole point is…”Were camping out here on earth… we live in a tent…we’re strangers and aliens in survivor mode…one day God’s gonna come pick us up and take us to our real home…We groan for that day…down here its bare bones….after the resurrection its clothed in the splendor of Christ…and we can’t even fathom the difference.
Benjamin Franklin wrote his epitaph while still a young man. It wonderfully catches the spirit of what Paul is talking about in ! Cor. 15.
“The body of B. Franklin, printer, (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn
out and stripped of its lettering and gilding) lies here, food for worms. But the
work shall not be lost; for it will (as he believed) appear once more, in a new and
more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.”
I do not have the skill or the ability to describe “this revised elegant edition….nor did Paul or any man…but the most important truth I can end with this morning is…
III OUR RESURRECTED BODIES WILL BE LIKE JESUS
1 Cor. 15: 45-49
“And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthy man (Adam…he sinned…He died) so we shall bear the likeness of the man from heaven (Jesus…who never sinned, but died to pay for our….was resurrected “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep”)
This promise, this resurrection is for all those who are “in Christ. His victory over death becomes our victory over death…Romans 6:5 says “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection”
Unless you die to your sin, unless your are buried in Christ…you cannot use to walk in newness of life…but if you have…God gives you the Holy spirit as a deposit…His guarantee, so you can rise and walk in newness of life…that new life starts here and now…that fruit is evident, even in this temporary tent…but one day that spirit will have a new residence.
And the hope is whether we are still alive when Jesus returns. ..or whether our bodies are in the ground ready to be reunited with our spirit’s that Jesus will bring with him
“Listen, I tell you a mystery, we will not all sleep but we will all be changed —in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet…for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable…” (1 Cor 15: 51,52) and we will be changed!”
You can spend all your life making the tent comfortable and spending an eternity in Hell…or you can spend your life camping out here on earth for the glory of God and spend your eternity in a mansion built by God himself for you…Its why God made you….for this very purpose.
[I remember hearing about a King that came to one of his servants and said I’m going on a trip but while I’m gone I’d like for you to build me a palace…so after the King left the servant went to work…but as the project progressed the servant started cutting corners, using cheap products and pocketing the money…He used cheap materials, he covered up mistakes instead of correcting them. The Palace looked good on the outside, but lacked strength and integrity in all the important places.
When the King returned…He visited the palace with the servant…it looked beautiful…but it was just a facade…And then the King did something surprising…he said, “this is your home…I’m giving it to you…may the work you’ve done on it stand for eternity..]
We are building for eternity here…you can choose cheap materials like wood, straw and sticks…or you can build out of material that will stand the test…Gold, Silver and precious stones…
But one day all of us will be accountable for the house we’ve built.