This sermon is part of the sermon series "The Hope of Holy Week". See series.
Nearly everyone believes in the crucifixion of the body. Even historians who deny the deity of Jesus Christ nevertheless accept the fact that he was put to death on a hill outside Jerusalem—crucified by the Romans. The crucifixion of Christ was the genuine execution of a real human being. Metal nails were pounded into rough wood, tearing at human flesh. And the blood that flowed from Jesus' hands and side was real blood, coursing with platelets and red blood cells. Anyone who believes in Jesus at all believes in his bodily crucifixion.
What people have trouble accepting is his bodily resurrection. I once attended a Bible study for ministers the week before Easter. It was an ecumenical gathering, with clergy coming from a wide spectrum of churches in Center City Philadelphia. As we discussed the upcoming round of special services, it was obvious that most of the ministers were dreading Easter Sunday. Although no one put it quite so bluntly, the reason was that they were tired of "faking it." They believed in holding special Easter services. They believed that springtime is a season of rebirth and renewal. What they could not quite bring themselves to believe was the resurrection of the body. I suspect their sermons that week were like most movie versions of the life of Christ, in which the final scene is full of light and sound, but somehow the risen Christ is missing. If he appears at all he is insubstantial, immaterial.
Christ is risen!
The fact is, however, that there is a resurrection of the body, both for Christ and for the Christian. This is the argument that the apostle Paul develops in 1 Corinthians 15. He starts by stating the basic facts of the gospel, including the bodily resurrection ...
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