← back to list

May 16, 2021

The Plausibility of Resurrection

The Plausibility of Resurrection

Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Let Us Not Mock God with Metaphor

Keywords: image, heaven, spiritual, natural, dust, corruptible, incorruptible

We’ve already acknowledged the idea of resurrection is preferable. But how can it be even remotely plausible?

Readings & Scripture

PREPARATION: Hebrews 12:1-2a, 28
LEADER: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

ALL: 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

Corporate Prayer: Eternal Kingdom
ALL: O Spirit of God
Give us faith to walk the separated life with firm and brave step.
Teach us to adore and magnify Christ with the music of heaven.

We do not crouch at Thy feet as a slave before a tyrant,
But exalt before Thee as a child with a Father.
Give us power to know this love and make known to others.

Preserve us from the intoxication that comes with false prosperity;
Sober us when glad with a joy that comes not from thee.
Lead us ever onward in the eternal kingdom,

Making known the grace of Christ to all.


CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:35-49
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

LEADER: While we claim to celebrate the resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus, the way we live proclaims our lack of faith in his power to deal with the world.
We now confess the incongruity between our faith and practice together.

ALL: Almighty God, You have raised Jesus from death to life and crowned him Lord of all. We confess that we have not bowed before him or acknowledged his rule in our lives. We have gone along with the ways of the world and failed to give him glory. Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may be your faithful people, obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, who rules the world and is head of the church, his body. Amen.

LEADER: Hear the good news of the gospel: God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

ALL: In Christ, by God’s grace, we are saved. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!


BENEDICTION: Colossians 1:11-14 
LEADER:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

ALL: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Related Scriptures

Psalm 71:17-21
2 Corinthians 5:1-5


InView Media 5.16.21 Album


  1. Have you ever had an experience when something in nature didn’t just reveal its beauty, but revealed something more--as though it confirmed something more profound, more meaningful? What was it like?
  2. What familiar things, and their qualities, is Paul pointing to as analogies for the plausibility of resurrection? What makes those analogies something like (but not identical to) an argument for faith in the resurrection?
  3. What do the first adam and the last adam share in common? What about the last adam sets Him apart?
  4. What might it mean to “bear the image of the man of heaven”? Why would that naturally follow from believing the resurrection to be plausible? Why might it be a privilege--and a challenge?
  5. If the resurrection is not just plausible but persuasive, how would it change the way you’re thinking, feeling, or considering acting even on this day? How would it encourage or confront you today?



  • We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.
    The Tempest, William Shakespear3
  • Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. Yoda
  • If you're a Christian, you're just a shadow of your future self. N.T. Wright
  • It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection. . . .  It flies in the face of common sense. . . .  Materialism is an explanation for a world we don’t live in. . . .  The world is an astonishing place. That it has produced you, and me, and the rest of us is the most astonishing thing about it.  Thomas Nagel
  • Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If you love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all. Father Zosima in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
  • He is the first, the only one who has pitied me . . . I've been waiting all my life for someone like you. I knew that someone like you would come and forgive me.  Grushenka in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov