Considering the Resurrection

•April 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment


If my thoughts were more profound I would share them here.  As it is, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the simplicity of the gospel, yet awed by the complexities  that it contains.  This is one of those times.  So I offer a few words of others followed by my favorite Bible chapter on the resurrection.

“Christianity is not merely a religion that was marketed well with just the right political spin by gifted writers. It is a living, breathing, ongoing conversation between God, humanity and all creation empowered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (William J. Carl, Living Pulpit, March 1998, p.6)

“Some religions, both ancient and modern, require no historical basis, for they depend upon ideas rather than events. Christianity is not one of these.” (A Short Life of Christ by E. F. Harrison, 1968)

“Jesus Christ alive from the dead is the answer to all the broken dreams, the collapsed hopes of your life and mine, the pressures that we feel from day to day, the sense of our failure and the inability to perform as we would like to perform.”  (Ray Stedman, The Living Hope, March 1976)

One chapter.    It says it all . . .

1 Corinthians 15

The Resurrection of Christ

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followersat one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.  Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.  For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead?  For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.  And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.  And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.  In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man.  Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power.  For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet.  And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.  For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.)  Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?

And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour?  For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.  And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

The Resurrection Body

But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first.  And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting.  Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed.  Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.

There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength.  They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.  Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man.  Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.

What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!  It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.  For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

(This passage from the New Living Translation.)

Coffman Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15

More . . .

on my dappled things blog –

Evidence for Christ and His Resurrection

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection

Above All video – excellent!


on the resurrection –

Evidence for the Resurrection Handout – Josh McDowell

The Resurrection of Jesus –

The Power of the Resurrection Life

Risen with Christ

Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important? – Got Questions

The Resurrection of Christ – All About Jesus

10 Reasons to Believe Christ Rose from the Dead – RBC Ministries

Passover – Remembering Christ

•April 18, 2011 • 3 Comments

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Mark 14:22-25

It is the Jewish Passover. As a Christian this is significant to me. Let me tell you why. We already celebrated Easter, Resurrection Sunday, last month. The calendar is a little mussed up this year, though the Orthodox Easter still remains in close proximity to Passover. So I actually have celebrated that Christ died for our sins and rose again acknowledging that He passed over from death to life as a substitution for my sins. You know it is much easier to acknowledge this once a year than to do it in my heart every day. Yet this is what I am called to do, what I need to do.

The Hebrews call Passover “Haggadah” (הגדה), which means “the telling” or “tell your son”. They were to tell of the works of God in saving the Hebrews from their bondage in Egypt. God is really good that way. He gives us many tangible ways to remember him. One of these ways is by remembering his appointed times, the feasts of the Lord. When Jesus ate his last Passover meal with his disciples, he told them to remember him when they ate the meal again – to tell what the feast truly meant. As Christians this is when we participate in The Lord’s Supper, commonly called “Communion”, and proclaim our salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection. As a Christian what I am excited about is the discovery of God’s purposes and Christ’s fulfillment of these holy days. The Messianic significance in Passover tells the message of God’s salvation, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles whom he has grafted in to his family of faith!

I have celebrated Passover with small groups many times through the years which has been a wonderful blessing and an excellent teaching opportunity.  The celebration is in Christ, the Passover Lamb! A time for us to have Communion together and remember the sacrifice and salvation granted to us by our Lord.  I am not compelled by law to celebrate the feast, nor do I do so “religiously” on an annual basis, yet I am free to do so in the spirit. As Passover occurs, this experience is, however, a special time to remember Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua Mesiach.

For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Therefore let us keep the Festival,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:6,7

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26

This do in remembrance of me. Luke 22: 19

The Old Covenant and the New . . .

Hebrews 10: 1-18

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

“ Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”

Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them ” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Here are some resources to help you plan a Christ fulfilled Passover Celebration:

A Christian Passover Haggadah (This is the one we used.)

A Messianic Pessach Haggadah

A Believer’s Passover

Pessach ~ Passover

Messianic Passover

Messianic Seder

Biblical Holidays – Passover

The Seudah (communion) – Passover Fulfilled

The Lord’s Supper and Passover

Christ Our Passover – Charles Spurgeon



The Resurection Mural by Ron Dicianni

•April 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

When Was Jesus Born?

•December 4, 2009 • 1 Comment

“And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.”  ~ John 1:14

The December 25th date of  Christmas is believed to have been set by Constantine around 300 AD.  This celebration of Jesus’ birthday may have initially been chosen to correspond with either a historical Roman festival or the Winter solstace.

So when was Jesus really born?  According to Hebrew research there is evidence to believe  that Jesus was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), in the fall of the year.  The time that the shepherds were abiding in the fields, not in the cold of winter.   The Hebrew date for the first day of the feast is Tishri 15.  This year (2009) that was October 2nd, though the date changes each year.  Many Biblical scholars have determined that it was during this very feast that Jesus’ parents went up to Jerusalem and Jesus was born.  Born in a stable, which in Hebrew is sukkot.  It was also during this feast that the Roman census occurred because it was convenient that the Hebrew people were already gathering.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful celebration.  The festival is is like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one! It is a time of thanksgiving when the Jewish people remember how their people dwelt in temporary shelters in the wilderness for 40 years after God saved them from captivity in Egypt.  Moses, who led the Israelites out of captivity was a type (foreshadow) of the Messiah.

The Feast of Tabernacles is significant to Christians because Jesus Christ, Yeshuah Ha Masiach, celebrated this feast, as did Paul.  It was during Sukkot that Jesus fulfilled prophecy and proclaimed that he was God. During the Feast of Tabernacles lamps illuminated the whole city, it was during the lighting of theses lamps when Jesus stood in the temple courts and spoke out, “I am the light of the world (John 8:12). Then on the last and greatest day of the feast, precisely at the time of the water pouring ceremony, he declared, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37,38).

The Feast of Tabernacles is a time to remember that God came to dwell among his people through his son Jesus Christ.  It is a reminder that we reside in the fleshly, temporal dwellings of our earthly tabernacles, our bodies. And for believers, the spirit of God dwells within us.  It is important to know that this feast will be celebrated forever by all believers in the Messiah’s eternal kingdom when we dwell together with Him forever!

Now that we understand this connection how much better we understand the fullfillment of the Messianic prophecies and the celebration of our Savior.  So shall we celebrate the birth of Christ in the fall or in the winter?  What is important is that we celebrate him at all.  Has he been born in your heart?

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”
~Zechariah 14:16~

Here are some fascinating articles that you might enjoy for further explanation:

When Was Jesus Born?

Christmas – Was Jesus Really Born on December 25th?

Was the Birth of Christ during the Feast of Tabernacles?

History of Christmas

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection

•April 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

The historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ is very good. Scholars such as William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Gary Habermas, and others have done an especially good job of detailing that evidence.1 It is the aim of this article to offer a sort of synthesis of some of their key points and show the strength of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ.

A method commonly used today to determine the historicity of an event is “inference to the best explanation.” William Lane Craig describes this as an approach where we “begin with the evidence available to us and then infer what would, if true, provide the best explanation of that evidence.” In other words, we ought to accept an event as historical if it gives the best explanation for the evidence surrounding it.

When we look at the evidence, the truth of the resurrection emerges very clearly as the best explanation. There is no other theory that even come close to accounting for the evidence. Therefore, there is solid historical grounds for the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

Continue reading ‘Historical Evidence for the Resurrection’

Seek His Face

•April 11, 2009 • 12 Comments


“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” ~ Psalm 105:4

Above All

•April 11, 2009 • 1 Comment