"HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED?"
I. THERE ARE MANY WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.
A. There were a group in Jesus day who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, they were known as Sadducees.
1. One day Jesus pointed out to them the scripture where God announced Himself as the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Jesus then declared, He is not the God of the dead but of the living. Thus affirming that Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were still alive.
2. When Jesus was transfigured before his disciples, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him some hundreds of years after their deaths.
B. Those who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead today do not believe in the Spirit of man.
1. The Bible teaches that the real you is not body but spirit. The body was created by God as a medium by which the Spirit could express itself. The real me, that is my spirit lives in this body. Through it I can relate myself to you. What I am, think, feel. You in turn relate to me, and we come into these meaningful relationships.
2. The body is subject to the catabolic forces which cause it to age and break down. As it breaks down it is no longer an adequate medium through which I can express myself.
3. The body begins to restrict me from doing things that I would like to do. It begins to give me more pain than pleasure. In time it wears out and can no longer function. At this point God releases my spirit from my body.
4. What then?
a. Some feel that it is all over. That is all she wrote. That is the end. Death to them is absolute finality. You live like a hog and die like a dog.
b. Others who believe what the Bible teaches believe that the spirit at this point moves into another body, one not subject to the frailties of this body, an eternal body that God has made for me that I might dwell with Him in His kingdom.
5. When Jesus rose from the dead, He had a body that was similar and yet in some degree different from the body that He dwelt in while He was walking with the Disciples while on this earth.
a. He was able to eat with them. He was able to communicate with them. There were still the marks of the wounds from the crucifixion on it.
b. His body seemed to be in a different dimension for in this resurrected body He could pass through walls when the doors and windows were shut and locked, he could appear and disappear at will in scattered places.
c. It was not subject to the law of gravity, for one day He ascended up into heaven as His disciples watched Him as He disappeared into a cloud.
6. The Bible tells us that He is coming again one day with ten thousands of His saints. What bodies will they have when they come with Him?
a. Am I to have this body through all eternity? If this be so, I would have been much better off, had I died when I was in my twenties, or better still before my senior year in college when I injured my knee in football.
b. If we are to have new bodies will we still know and recognize each other?
II. THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS PAUL POSES HERE IN VERSE 35. "HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED, AND WITH WHAT BODY DO THEY COME?"
A. How are the dead raised?
1. First of all make no mistake about it, the Bible does teach that the dead shall be raised.
For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:
And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God:
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.
Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
2. Paul speaks to the Romans as to the how.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
a. We shall be raised from the dead by the quicking power of the Holy Spirit.
And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
III. Paul devotes some space here as to with what the resurrection body is to be like.
A. He uses the analogy of planting a seed.
1. It doesn't come forth into new life until it dies. germinates.
2. When you plant a seed, you do not plant the body that shall be, all you plant is a bare grain.
3. God gives it a new body as pleases Him.
4. To every seed, his own body.
B. What do we learn from this?
1. There is a relationship, but a vast difference between this body that will one day be placed in the grave, and the new body that I shall have.
2. This bare grain shall die and be planted, but the new body that shall come forth will be vastly superior.
a. We are sown in corruption, we will be raised in incorruption.
b. We are sown in dishonor, raised in glory.
c. Sown in weakness, raised in power.
d. We sow the natural body, we will be raised in a spiritual body.
3. Our present body is after the image of Adam.
a. It is of the earth earthy.
b. It is made out of the earth for the earth.
c. This body has been designed for the environmental conditions on the planet earth.
4. Our new body is after the image of Jesus.
a. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
b. We shall bear the image of the heavenly.
c. It will be designed for the environmental conditions of heaven.
d. Our new body is not a flesh and blood body, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
5. To enter God's kingdom we must have a change of body,
a. This corruptible body must put on incorruption.
b. This mortal body, must put on immortality.