09 November 2009

Colworth (CU) - Resurrection

Dave brought some thoughts from 1 Corinthians 15:1-20, he would have liked to cover the entire chapter but felt this section was all we could manage in the time available.Sunlight on the water We read the passage through and then had an open conversation about it. Some of the main points are set out briefly below.

Paul clearly relished the opportunity to present the gospel at every opportunity.

It is striking that Jesus appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at one time. First of all, who were these followers? Far more than the disciples and the women who also travelled with him. And the apostles evidently saw him more than once, two occasions are mentioned here. Paul also mentions that many of the five hundred were still alive at the time of writing, there could be little doubt of the resurrection.

Another point we noted was that Jesus didn't just return to life merely to die again later (like, for example, Lazarus who lived out his days at Larnaca in Cyprus). Jesus, in contrast, actually defeated death itself. Death, therefore, is much less of an issue for us now. I wondered if there were some Sadducees at Corinth. We know that Jews lived all over the Roman world and that Paul had the habit of always declaring the gospel first in the synagogue. Maybe the teaching that there was no resurrection came from some local Sadducees.

Dud thought it was most unlikely that the Romans would have allowed Jesus' body to be stolen. Historically it seems almost harder to disprove the resurrection than to prove it. Dave asked what difference the resurrection makes in our own lives and we agreed that it makes all the difference. We can spell it out by considering the converse of what Paul says in verse 17, 'And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.' In other words if Christ has been raised our faith is effective and we are free from sin.

Dud pointed out that verse 20 sums everything up very succinctly. We too are going to be raised - so why don't we live like it?!

Dave mentioned the song 'You are the King of every heart' by the band 'One Hundred Hours', the lyrics seemed relevant. 'Your love is bigger than our fear. You are the King of every heart.' All possible because Christ could not be held by death because he himself is life!

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