READ : 1 Corinthians 15:1-19
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (v. 19)
Paul was a pioneer missionary. He was called to introduce the Christian message to an alien culture. That was certainly the case in Corinth. When he told them about the resurrection, they thought he was referring to something purely immediate and spiritual, not future and bodily. The resurrection of Jesus, therefore, made little sense to them.
Paul claimed that the resurrection really happened. Jesus died. His friends laid his lifeless, cold, clammy corpse in a tomb. They assumed that their Messiah had failed. He was nothing more than another messianic pretender. They felt betrayed and disillusioned.
What transformed them was an encounter with a man who had been raised from the dead, not as a resuscitated corpse but as a resurrected person. Having conquered sin and death, he was given a new body that was fit for all eternity. Suddenly they realized that Jesus was the Son of God and Savior of the world. They were right to worship him.
God calls us to serve him in this world. But our true hope is not in this world but in the resurrection of the dead. Ironically, it is that hope which will sustain us in our ministry to and in this world.
Even so, come Lord Jesus. Make all things right for your glory and our good. Amen.