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April 28, 2019

Sermon: The Afterlife: In the Light of Easter

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Scripture Lesson

1 Samuel 28:5-8, 11-15; Luke 24:36-45

Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. Israel said to Joseph, ‘I can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive.’

When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, not by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, ‘Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her.’ His servants said to him, ‘There is a medium at Endor.’ So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes and went there, he and two men with him. They came to the woman by night. And he said, ‘Consult a spirit for me, and bring up for me the one whom I name to you.’ Then the woman said, ‘Whom shall I bring up for you?’ He answered, ‘Bring up Samuel for me.’ When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman said to Saul, ‘Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!’ The king said to her, ‘Have no fear; what do you see?’ The woman said to Saul, ‘I see a divine being coming up out of the ground.’ He said to her, ‘What is his appearance?’ She said, ‘An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe.’ So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance. Then Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’ Saul answered, ‘I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; so I have summoned you to tell me what I should do.’

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
The Afterlife: In the Light of Easter
1 Samuel 28:5-8, 11-15; Luke 24:36-45

I. Introduction: Hagar the Horrible
II. Series: The Afterlife
III. A strange story (1 Sam. 28:5-8, 11-15)
     A. Why start with this story?
     B. Saul’s situation (28:5-6)
     C. He goes to a medium (28:8)
     D. She calls up Samuel
         1. Other worldly being (28:13)
         2. Angry (28:15)
     E. Is this our conception of the afterlife?
IV. The afterlife after the resurrection (Lk. 24:36-45)
     A. “In Christ” (about 70 times in Paul’s writings)
     B. He appears suddenly (24:36-37)
     C. They know it’s Jesus
     D. He can speak (24:36)
     E. He’s not a ghost (24:39, 42-43)
V. What can we learn about the afterlife?
     A. We will not be souls/spirits/ghosts/shades
     B. Not the same physical limitationsv      C. We will know one another
     D. We will speak to one another
VI. What if I don’t understand? (Lk. 24:44-45)
     A. Study scripture (24:44)
     B. Pray for illumination (24:45)


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