Saturday, April 21, 2012

Not Zombies

The Apostle’s Creed is an ancient summation of what we as Christian’s believe. The Nicene Creed that is more common in church is an expansion on this from 325 AD.
1.    I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2.    I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
3.    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4.    He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5.    He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
6.    He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7.    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8.    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9.    the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10.    the forgiveness of sins,
11.    the resurrection of the body,
12.    and life everlasting. Amen.

1)    Today we’re going to look into 11 & 12. What do you think about them?

There was definitely something different about Jesus after Easter.
John 20:11-18
11Mary, however, stood there and cried as she looked at the tomb. As she cried, she bent over and looked inside. 12She saw two angels in white clothes. They were sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. One angel was where Jesus’ head had been, and the other was where his feet had been. 13The angels asked her why she was crying.  Mary told them, “They have removed my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.”  14After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. However, she didn’t know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

Mary thought it was the gardener speaking to her. So she said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I’ll remove him.”  16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” Mary turned around and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This word means “teacher.”)

17Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me. I have not yet gone to the Father. But go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”  18Mary from Magdala went to the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord.” She also told them what he had said to her.
2)    What do you think was different about Jesus? Why did Mary finally recognize him?

One of the things people might have thought when Jesus was came back from the dead is that he was a ghost.
Luke 24:36-48
36While they were talking about what had happened, Jesus stood among them. He said to them, “Peace be with you!” 37They were terrified, and thought they were seeing a ghost.  38He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Why do you have doubts? 39Look at my hands and feet, and see that it’s really me. Touch me, and see for yourselves. Ghosts don’t have flesh and bones, but you can see that I do.” 40As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet.

41The disciples were overcome with joy and amazement because this seemed too good to be true. Then Jesus asked them, “Do you have anything to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish. 43He took it and ate it while they watched him.

44Then he said to them, “These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you. I told you that everything written about me in Moses’ Teachings, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to come true.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46He said to them, “Scripture says that the Messiah would suffer and that he would come back to life on the third day. 47Scripture also says that by the authority of Jesus people must be told to turn to God and change the way they think and act so that their sins will be forgiven. This must be told to people from all nations, beginning in the city of Jerusalem.48You are witnesses to these things.
3)    What are the important details to you?

But in the Creed it is not talking about Jesus, but about us. Paul writes:
Philippians 3:18-21
18I have often told you, and now tell you with tears in my eyes, that many live as the enemies of the cross of Christ. 19In the end they will be destroyed. Their own emotions are their god, and they take pride in the shameful things they do. Their minds are set on worldly things. 20We, however, are citizens of heaven. We look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ coming from heaven as our Savior. 21Through his power to bring everything under his authority, he will change our humble bodies and make them like his glorified body.
4)    What could this mean?

1st Corinthians 15:12-26, 29-34
12If we have told you that Christ has been brought back to life, how can some of you say that coming back from the dead is impossible? 13If the dead can’t be brought back to life, then Christ hasn’t come back to life. 14If Christ hasn’t come back to life, our message has no meaning and your faith also has no meaning. 15In addition, we are obviously witnesses who lied about God because we testified that he brought Christ back to life. But if it’s true that the dead don’t come back to life, then God didn’t bring Christ back to life. 16Certainly, if the dead don’t come back to life, then Christ hasn’t come back to life either. 17If Christ hasn’t come back to life, your faith is nonsense and sin still has you in its power. 18Then those who have died as believers in Christ no longer exist. 19If Christ is our hope in this life only, we deserve more pity than any other people.
5)    Paul’s making a logical argument here. What’s the point and how does he argue it?

 20But now Christ has come back from the dead. He is the very first person of those who have died to come back to life. 21Since a man brought death, a man also brought life back from death. 22As everyone dies because of Adam, so also everyone will be made alive because of Christ. 23This will happen to each person in his own turn. Christ is the first, then at his coming, those who belong to him will be made alive. 24Then the end will come. Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father as he destroys every ruler, authority, and power. 25Christ must rule until God has put every enemy under his control. 26The last enemy he will destroy is death.
6)    What does this passage have to do with Harry Potter?
7)    What does he mean here? What does it have to do with the resurrection of the body?

 29However, people are baptized because the dead will come back to life. What will they do? If the dead can’t come back to life, why do people get baptized as if they can come back to life?
30Why are we constantly putting ourselves in danger? 31Brothers and sisters, I swear to you on my pride in you which Christ Jesus our Lord has given me: I face death every day. 32If I have fought with wild animals in Ephesus, what have I gained according to the way people look at things? If the dead are not raised, “Let’s eat and drink because tomorrow we’re going to die!” 33Don’t let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad people will ruin decent people. 34Come back to the right point of view, and stop sinning. Some people don’t know anything about God. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
8)    “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die,” is a famous phrase and oft quoted. Is that what Paul is recommending? 

9)    Do you agree with his point about associating with bad people?

10)    I will freely admit that this is the part of my faith I least understand. Yet I believe it on the authority of the Bible. Is it okay to believe something of which you haven’t made sense?

11)    Jot down one thing to remember from this study.

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