Reference Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-24 (NIV)
The Resurrection of Christ
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
The Resurrection of the Dead12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
Gracious Lord, We're so thankful for the strong hope we have in Jesus. And I pray that our listeners, those who are believers and those who are yet becoming believers, that the hope that you have will become so real to them, that it would help them through each day; that it would help them overcome trials, that they would find victory in places where they suffered only defeat, that they would find renewal in places where they are parched and dry.
Almighty God, you are a great and glorious God and we pray, with fervor, that the Gospel of your Resurrection would overcome all of the skeptics and scoffers, and that they would also enjoy the joy that we have in Christ.
All of this we pray in Jesus' name, the Living Lord. AMEN.