If the early Easter sermons were like some sermons in churches today,
the world would not have been turned upside down.
Can you even imagine John and Peter preaching:
“Easter means that just as spring follows winter, there is always hope.”
Instead, they plead with us about the risen Lord:
We heard him, we touched him, this is no fairy tale!
Rather, as Paul says,
“If Christ had not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
(1 Corin. 15:17)
What scriptures did the risen Christ show the two on the walk to Emmaus to help them grasp the gospel, to grasp why He really came?
He must have helped them understand that
He came not to deliver that generation from the Romans,
but to deliver all generations who would believe from the curse of sin and death.
Whereas the first Adam ushered in division, decay, and death —
the second Adam was going to
crush the head of the serpent
reverse the curse
and begin the “renewal of all things.”
In the Hebrew, the word paliggenesia according to Strong’s is:
3824 /paliggenesía (“renewal, rebirth”) is used twice in the NT referring to: a) the re-birth of physical creation at Christ’s return
One day both we and all of physical creation will be not just returned to how it was before the fall, but to something so much better.
One day creation will no longer groan,
but the trees of the field will clap their hands,
and we will be changed.
As John says,
“We are God’s children now, and what we will be
as not yet been made plain, but we know that when we see Him,
we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.”
(1 John 3:2)
When this happens, we will look at our troubles on earth like Teresa of Avila put it:
though we see through the glass darkly now,
let us look at the glimpses of light He has given us!
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.
Monday-Wednesday Bible Study
I would rather we get our glimpses of heaven from Scripture than from books that recount near death experiences. While those people may indeed have glimpsed something real, there is so much out there that is not to be trusted, let’s just stick with Scripture to glean things here. There is plenty in Scripture — and please bring in passages you love that I don’t mention that give us light about heaven, for I’ve only chosen a few of my favorites so as not to overwhelm you.
Concerning what we will be like:
4. Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-42 and state the main point.
5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
A. Find three differences between the bodies we have now and the bodies we will have in verses 42-45.
B. Contrast the first Adam with the second Adam according to this passage.
6. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
A. When will we be changed?
B. How should this knowledge affect your life? How does it actually affect you?
7. We know we will be like Him when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2) What was Jesus character like? And
what was His body like after the resurrection? What does this tell you about what we will be like?
Repeatedly the disciples only recognized Jesus by His voice — even the 2nd or 3rd time they saw Him after the resurrection — so there must have been something quite different about Him. That has me pondering. I have thought so much about this since my husband died over 12 years ago. I know his soul is with Jesus — but His resurrection body is still to come. I have also pondered the following passages in Job, for they give us glimpses into what is going to happen and what heaven will be like. See what you can discover yourself!
8. Read Job 14:14-15 and describe the scene that will one day happen to you — and the emotion of God behind it.
9. Read Job 19:25-27 and describe what you learn from this about our new bodies and also about heaven.
10. What other change will be in us according to Hosea 2:14?
Personally, I am thankful that the language used to describe heaven in Revelation is metaphorical — symbols of the very best. For I don’t want streets of gold. I want paths through forests filled with forget-me-nots.
I also would miss the sun with its glorious sunsets. I think it is why I love this line from one of Sara Grove’s songs that so ministered to me when Steve died:
Or the process for earning your wings.
I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels,
Or any of those things.
But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be pretty good.
Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be very good.
Thursday-Friday: Article and Optional Sermon
Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, was a wonderful eye-opening comfort to me. Here is a short article from him on how we zillions of people might be able to walk, alone, with Jesus in heaven. Read and comment.
And here is a wonderful but optional sermon from Keller on the subject — it is not free, but the 2.50 supports ministries in New York and the sermon is worth far more: The Hope of Glory
12. Share your notes and comments on any of the above.
Saturday: Share your most recent God Hunt!