For Those Who Fear Death

Pastor Tom Kock || 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 || March 31, 2024

Is it fair to say that every one of us, when we are at a funeral, at a graveside, feel some degree of fear, or at least are upset to some extent? I know I am. And frankly, if you tell me or not, I think you’re lying. I won’t accuse anybody. Jesus went to the graveside of his buddy Lazarus, so what did he do? He cried. Was Jesus upset at the death of a loved one? Yeah, he was. And so no, death bothering us, death upsetting us, death throwing us off our game a little bit, it doesn’t make us unbelievers. It just makes us human. Because when we see death, when we stand at the coffin or beside the urn of a loved one, when we stand at the graveside, just this finality about it, it’s kind of hard to shake. Would you agree with me? It’s hard. It’s hard. And that’s why we need an answer to death so badly. And thank God, brothers and sisters, you have it. Paul transports us to the end of time. And what does he say? He says that in Christ, all will be made alive. The form of the Greek word makes it clear that this is a factual reality. This is not a maybe people come back to life or I hope that people come back to life. No, it’s a these people will come back to life. Just as Lazarus got out of his grave when Jesus told him to, so when Jesus tells us humans to get out of our grave, we will. It’s factual reality. And with what kind of body will we rise? Oh, it’s gonna be glorious and wonderful and amazing. That’s what Paul goes on to talk about in the next part of 1 Corinthians 15, that what is sown is perishable. It’s raised in perishable, it’s sown in weakness. It’s raised in power. It’s sown in dishonor, it’s raised in glory. But we have to go in sequence. Christ is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Knowing that there’s a first fruit tells us that there are going to be more fruits coming, right? So the fact that Jesus got out of the grave is the proof that there are going to be more fruits who are coming. Jesus is the first fruit. You and I are the vast harvest. You and I and all the other believers in Jesus from Old Testament times and New Testament times, from the times that haven’t even happened yet, if Jesus doesn’t come back for a while, every believer in Jesus will be raised from the dead to be with Jesus forever and ever and ever in glory. That’s the truth. And how do you know it’s the truth? Because Jesus really, factually, bodily, historically, scientifically, and the other L-Y word you want to add to it, got out of the grave about 2,000 years ago. So when you stand at the grave site of that loved one, when you stand beside the coffin or the urn of that loved one, it is not the end. The same Jesus who had the power to bring himself back to life, stop and think about that for a minute. Your head will explode. I have a hard time getting up in the morning and he could get up from the grave. Wow. That same Jesus, who brought himself up from the dead, he will bring you and your believing loved ones back from the dead too to join him in heaven forever. And at that point, death will be dead. And my brothers and sisters, that changes everything. Amen.