READ : 1 Corinthians 15:1-20
Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (v. 20)
The historic fact of Christ’s resurrection is the foundation stone of the Christian
faith. Among Paul’s readers were Jews (Sadducees) who believed in no life beyond the
grave. All who died went to Sheol, a shadowy place of the dead, cut off from life and God.
The other major group Paul addressed were the Greeks. They believed in the immortality of
the soul but laughed at the notion of the resurrection of the body. Their cynical cry was
“Why should we want a resurrection of worms!” The Greeks believed each person had a spark
of divine immortality within, that, at death, became absorbed in the “all God.” There was
no personal life beyond the grave, just a kind of cosmic spiritual soup.
The Christian message is unique. Paul never said the body we now have would be raised.
He said we would have a new “spiritual body.” The unique person you are will live again
because Jesus lives again. Our faith promises that death is not the end. We hold Christ’s
resurrection as a sign of our resurrection. Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again.
Without this our “faith is in vain” and we are silly fools “to be pitied.”
In today’s culture where we’re pressured to regard all religions as equal, hold fast to
the unique fact of Christ’s resurrection. It means our faith is true and our hope is
Lord God, thank you for defeating death and bringing new life to light. Help me
live it with confidence.