This article has suffered and still suffers the most opposition and is most difficult to believe. ... The reason for this is that no article so contradicts experience as this one does. For our eyes see that all the world is swept away by death and dies. Emperors and kings, high and low, young and old, and, in a word, all the children of men, one after the other, are laid in the grave and buried. Wild animals devour one, the sword devours another; this man leaves a leg in Hungary, fire consumes earth, fish that man in the water, while birds under the sky eat yet another. And so on.
Hence it is difficult to believe that man, who dies and perishes in so many different ways, is to live again; that his members, so widely scattered, reduced to dust and ashes in fire, water, and soil, are to be gathered again; that his soul is again to live in the same body in which it lived before; and that he is to have the same eyes, ears, hands, and feet, except that the body, together with its members, is to have a "different manner of existence. This, I say, is difficult to believe. If you want to look at this with reason, the article of the resurrection of the dead seems to be either nothing at all or at least entirely uncertain ...
You will find few people on earth today who sincerely believe this article. Particularly men of great influence (die grossen Hansen), the wealthy and mighty of this world, believe nothing of it. The same thing happened in Judaism. Hardly half of the people believed the resurrection of the dead; even the religious leaders thought nothing of it. The whole sect of the Sadducees believed neither in God nor in heaven, neither in a resurrection of the dead nor in an eternal life, neither in angel nor in devil. In a word, if you consult reason and judge according to external appearance and experience, faith fails; and man lets this article go.
Therefore it is necessary for every Christian to have before him the testimony of Holy Scripture concerning the resurrection of the dead and then also the resurrection of the Lord Christ, proved and attested by certain revelation; that he must rest firmly on these and abandon outward appearance and the experience of reason.
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, p. 1216-7.