Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleThe Death, Burial & Resurrection of Christ
Bible Text1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Synopsis The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is of utmost importance because this is the gospel of our salvation. Listen.
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Length 48 min.

Title: Death, Burial and Resurrection

Text: 1 Cor 15: 3-4

Date: March 29, 2018

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


My subject tonight is the “Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ.”


This weekend most will preach on this subject. But I will not be stealing anyone’s subject tonight because I will by no means exhaust the subject. The gospel ought to preached every time we stand in the pulpit


Proposition: The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is of utmost importance because this is the gospel of our salvation.


But I wonder how many will preach this subject this weekend as the apostle Paul did and as all Christ’s faithful ministers do?


I wonder how many will preach the gospel—1 Corinthians 15: 1: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;


There is only one gospel—the gospel. The definite article declares there is only one gospel.  Everywhere the word “gospel” is used in scripture it is preceded by the definite article—the gospel. The only exceptions are in cases like this—


Galatians 1: 6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.


And just as there is only one gospel, there is only one means by which God chose to deliver it—1 Corinthians 15: 1: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you…


The means God chose to save his people, from first hour to last hour, is through preaching.


Also, the Spirit of God makes all his people do something when they hear the gospel—1 Corinthians 15: 1…which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2: By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.


The Spirit of God makes all his people receive the gospel, stand in the gospel, be saved by the gospel and persevere in the gospel.


Furthermore, the gospel is the salvation of all who Christ redeemed—1 Corinthians 15: 3: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,


Christ’s preacher is saved by the same gospel as all Christ’s people. His preacher is saved by the same message he is sent to preach. Paul said, “I delivered unto you first of all the very same gospel by which I was saved.”


Now here is the gospel—first, 1 Corinthians 15: 3…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; secondly 1 Corinthians 15: 4: And that he was buried, [according to the scriptures]; thirdly, 1 Corinthians 15: 4 and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


I am certain this Easter weekend everyone will preach on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. But how many will preach—according to the scriptures?  The scriptures he is speaking of are the old testament scriptures—the new testament was not completed yet. Throughout the gospels as we read about our Lord’s crucifixion we continually read that the things done to him by the hands of wicked men were done “that the Scripture might be fulfilled.


So for our divisions we will look first at “Christ’s death according to the scriptures”; secondly, “Christ’s burial according to the scritpures;” and thirdly, “Christ’s resurrection according to the scriptures.”




1 Corinthians 15: 3:…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;


Who Died?


The statement begins, “Christ died.”  This tells us his office. “Christ” means “anointed.” Who died? God’s anointed.  God’s anointed is God’s choice servant.


Isaiah 42: 1: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles….3:…he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4: He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the [Gent]isles shall wait for his law.


In Genesis, the scriptures declare he who died is the GodMan who conquered the devil by allowing the devil to wound him. God said to the devil,


Genesis 3: 15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


In Isaiah, scriptures declare that the “seed of woman” means he is the GodMan and much, much more.


Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


Immanuel means God with us.  The “seed of woman” means he is the GodMan.  His body was formed in the womb of the virgin by the Holy Spirit without the aid of a man.  The Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us in flesh just like ours but he was sinless.


Isaiah 9: 6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:…


He is a Man child born and he is God the Son given.


Isaiah 9: 6:…and the government shall be upon his shoulder:…


This one who died is responsible for the government of heaven and earth, the government of God’s house and the government of his own kingdom.


Isaiah 9: 6:…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father…


That one who hung on the cross is the great mystery of godliness, the whole counsel of God, God in human flesh. He is the never ending Father of all those born of him; that declares he is the last Adam, the Head of his house.


Isaiah 9: 6:…The Prince of Peace. 7: Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.


He is the true King of the true Israel of which David was a type.


Isaiah 9: 7:…The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


The one who died is the LORD of hosts in human flesh.  All of this is so important because as Man, Christ could shed his blood and die; as Man he could suffer being tempted so that he is able to succor his brethren who are tempted. And as God, everything he accomplished by his death is eternal.


What Kind of Death Was It?


A vicarious death.  Christ’s death was a vicarious death or substitionary death or penal death meaning Christ Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, was made sin for someone in particular and died for them that they might live—“Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures.”  All have sinned and sin must be punished because God is just.  So God sent his Son to bear the sin and the penalty owed to God’s justice for those he saves, upholding his law while justifying them from their sins.


Isaiah 53: 4: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:…5: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


Scriptures declares Christ’s substitionary death in all the lambs that bled and died from the beginning. According to scripture in the garden, God slew a lamb instead of Adam and Eve and made coats of skins to cover their nakedness.  According to scripture Abel came to God with the blood of a lamb which was slain in Abel’s place.  According to scripture the Passover lamb died for the firstborn in Israel—judgment was poured out on the lamb instead of the firstborn sons. Therefore when God came to judge and saw the blood of the lamb on the doorpost, he passed over the firstborn sons in Israel.  According to scripture, the lamb on the day of atonement died for the children of Israel so by the blood of the lamb, ceremonially, atonement was made for another year for the children of Israel.


Leviticus 17: 11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.


Hebrews 9: 22: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.


So all those lambs typified Christ’s vicarious death. Therefore, when Christ came, John pointed to him and declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”(Jn 1: 29)


A purposed death.  In scriptures God says the death of Christ was determined from eternity.


Isaiah 46: 9I am God, and there is none like me, 10: Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:


In the death of Christ we see that God always works what he purposed from the beginning. A few days before he was crucified, the chief priests and elders met in the palace of the high priest and counseled to take his life. So they fulfilled what God determined before in Psalm 2:2, “the rulers take counsel together.”  Then Judas entered covenant with them to betray Christ for 30 pieces of silver fulfilling what God determined before to be done. Scripture says: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Ps 41:9) …they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” (Zec 11:12)  So we see Christ’s death was a purposed death. There are no accidents with God! God does everything on purpose, especially the salvation of his people.


A voluntary death. According to the scriptures, Christ declared his willingness to lay down his life to fulfill God his Father’s will:


Psalm 40: 6: Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7: Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8: I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.


John 10: 18: No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.


When did the Father give Christ that commandment? He gave him that commandment when he “opened his ear” telling him all his purpose and they entered into the covenant of redemption in eternity before the world was made.


A spiritual, eternal and physical death.  I have declared this often. But John Gill does a great job of showing this so I will borrow from him.  Christ endured a spiritual and eternal death in his soul—not death of his soul—death in his soul. Adam died a spiritual, eternal and physical death because of his transgression. That is what justice pays when it scripture says “the wages of sin is death.” Adam died all three, so the last Adam, in order to deliver those for whom he died had to suffer all three.


Spiritual death (moral death) is a loss of the image of God when God withdraws his presence due to a person being made sin. For a man it results in the loss of righteousness, being impotent to that which is good, an inclination, bias, and servitude of the mind to that which is evil. But Christ is God the Son—the GodMan.  We see how faithful Christ is to God the Father as his servant because when God separated himself from Christ due to him being made sin, Christ resisted striving against sin so that he remained holy and faithful to God in his soul.  In Hebrews 12, we are exhorted to consider Christ when we grow weary because “ye have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”  (Heb 12: 4) In the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Christ sweat great drops of blood because he was resisting and striving against sin.  So as John Gill points out, he endured everything about spiritual death, short of being polluted: he endured a darkness of soul, distress of soul, total lack of spiritual joy and comfort, agony, his soul being sorrowful even unto death, the weight of his people’s sins, the weight of God’s wrath. All of this was expressed when he said “my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.” (Ps 22:14)


Eternal death is everything Christ endured while he was alive on the cross which was equal to the sufferings of the wicked in hell for eternity.  Gill says “Eternal death consists in these two things, punishment of loss, and punishment of sense: [punishment of loss] is eternal separation from God…“Depart from me, ye cursed”; [punishment of sense] is an everlasting sense of the wrath of God, expressed by “everlasting fire”.  He endured the punishment of loss while he suffered the loss of his Father’s gracious presence, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me! And he endured the punishment of sense, when…[God’s] wrath was poured out like fire upon him;…and “the sorrows of hell” compassed him about, (Psalm 89:38 22:14 18:5)…And Christ being an infinite Person, was able to bear the whole of [eternal punishment] at once; and the infinity of his Person, abundantly compensates for the eternity of the punishment.”


Oh, bless God, brethren, spiritual, eternal and physical death is the death Christ died so that now the justice of God demands all for whom he died be delivered from spiritual death in regeneration, from physical death in resurrection and from eternal death in judgment.  That brings us to the last kind of death it was.


A victorious death. Christ did not make salvation possible—he accomplished it.


Isaiah 53:10: Yet it pleased [satisfied] the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper [succeed] in his hand. 11: He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: [satisfied]  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.


Daniel 9:24: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.


When Christ is preached according to the scriptures he is the only Christ who is victorious who accomplished redemption for those for whom he died all by himself on the cross. All other Christ’s that men preach only make redemption possible depending upon the sinner’s cooperation. The true Christ of scripture accomplished redemption for his people.


For Whom Did He Die?


Our text says “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”  The “our” includes Paul. Whoever he is writing to is who Christ died for. He says in 1 Corinthians 1: 2 that he is writing to “the church of God.”   The church of God is made up only of those God chose in Christ, not based on any good or evil in us. God’s elect are from among Jew and Gentile.


Noah was a Gentile. The nation Israel did not exist. According to scripture, Noah was saved because God chose him freely in Christ by his grace. That is what scripture means when it says:


Genesis 6:8: But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 


Abraham was God’s elect. He was a spiritually dead idolater.  But God had chosen Abraham and Christ was his Surety. Therefore, the Lord preached the gospel to Abraham and called him out of that land of idolatry while passing by his natural family.


Genesis 12: 1: Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


Those God families God promised to bless are God’s elect among Jew and Gentile scattered among all families of the earth. Let’s see that in the apostle Paul’s message on that passage:


Galatians 3: 6 :…Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.


Abraham believed God and righteousness was imputed to him for or because Christ made him righteous as his Surety.


Galatians 3: 7: Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8: And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9: So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.


That means they are chosen by God the Father, redeemed by Christ the Son, regenerated, given faith and called out by the Holy Spirit like Abraham. So we see God’s church are his elect whom God chose freely by his sovereign grace in Christ in eternity according to his good pleasure.  They are those for whom Christ died.  So God says to all that he sends preaching the gospel:


Isaiah 40: 1: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2: Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.




1 Corinthians 15: 4: And that he was buried…according to the scriptures


Much could be said about our Savior’s lifeless body buried in the tomb.  But I want to show you one thing that blessed my heart and I trust will bless yours.  Christ’s burial in the tomb was one more declaration among many that Christ is the only one who ever fulfilled the law of God.  Turn to Numbers 19. Here is the law of the red heifer which typified Christ.


Numbers 19:1: And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 2: This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: 3: And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: 4: And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: 5: And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 6: And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7: Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8: And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. 9: And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin. 10: And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.


A man that is clean shall gather” what was left of the sacrifice after it had been burned in the fire.  This was a man who WAS clean by keeping the ceremonial law of Moses.  He was not clean before God by his law-keeping. But he was clean ceremonially in that he kept the ceremonial law as the law of Moses commanded.


He was to “lay them up without the camp in a clean place.”  The remains of the sacrifice had to be buried without the camp in clean place. A clean place was anywhere that had not been touched by a dead body.  If a dead body had touched it, it was unclean; if no dead body had touched it then it was a clean place.


What does this law have to do with Christ’s burial?  After Christ suffered without the camp, after he endured the fire of God’s wrath until it was put out toward his people, after he commended his spirit into the hands of his Father, after the soldier pierced his heart and water and blood flowed out of his side assuring them he was dead, we read:


Luke 23: 50: And, behold, there was a man named Joseph,


He was a rich man.  Isaiah prophesied that Christ “made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death.” (Is 53: 9)


Luke 23: 50:…a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:


Mark says he was an “honourable counsellor.” Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. But unlike the rest, the Holy Spirit says that Joseph was an honourable counsellor.  The Holy Spirit says that he was “just” meaning he was “righteous, right, innocent, and faultless” in his dealings with men.  He observed the ceremonies of the law. Like Saul of Tarsus “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blamless.” (Php 3: 5)  Therefore, as far as the ceremonial law went, he was a clean man. 


Luke 23: 51: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.


Up until this time, he was “a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews” (Jn 19:38) But though he kept it a secret, he did not consent to the counsel and deed of the others to crucify Christ.  But as he beheld Christ and him crucified, the Holy Spirit gave him boldness to confess Christ publicly.


Luke 23: 52: This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53: And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre  that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.


This clean man took the lifeless body of Christ after he suffered the fiery wrath of God without the camp and laid it in a clean place.  So the law of the red heifer was fulfilled exactly like Christ fulfilled all the law and the prophets and redeemed his people.  Oh, how we thank God that we can rest in Christ from all our works of the law by which we once tried to gain God’s favor and acceptance.




1 Corinthians 15: 4:…and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.


Why is the resurrection of Christ so important?” Verse 14 and 17 says “If Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain;…ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Cor 15:14, 17) What all is declared by the resurrection of Christ from the dead?


The divinity of Christ.  Everything which Christ declared about himself, including that he is one with God his Father, finds its surest proof in his resurrection. The apostle Paul said that Christ was:


Romans 1: 4: …declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”


Christ’s sovereignty.   Christ’s sovereignty as the glorified GodMan as Head of his church is also declared by his resurrection—


Romans 4: 9: To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.


Ephesians 1: 19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21: Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


Justification.   Justification for his people is declared by Christ’s resurrection.


Romans 4: 25: He was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.


Be sure to understand that by dying Christ made satisfaction for the sins of his people. He rose again as our head and representative and was legally discharged, acquitted, and justified, and we in him. But Christ's resurrection did not procure the justification of his people. That was done by his obedience and death. His resurrection testifies to every believer that it is done.   His resurrection declares to us that he fully atoned for our sin and brought in everlasting righteousness for us by his death.  And his resurrection is for our justification in that he is given the glory to apply his blood and see his righteousness imputed to those he made righteous.


Regeneration.  The new birth of all his people from death to life is the result of Christ’s resurrection. Peter says


1 Peter 1: 3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.


Repentance and forgiveness of sins.   These two great blessings are ours by Christ’s resurrection.


Acts 5: 31: Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.


Our resurrection.  Our final resurrection depends upon Christ’s resurrection.


1 Corinthians 15: 20: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.


They offered the firstfruits that came out of the ground to the LORD in expectation of God’s promised blessing whereby he gave them fruit in abundance.  Christ is the Firstfruits. He arose out of the grave to the right hand of God the Father. By him all his people shall be raised.


1 Corinthians 15: 21: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24: Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25: For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26: The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27: For he hath put all things under his feet….51: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54: So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56: The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Now, brethren, that is the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the scriptures.  May God be

pleased to bless it.