By Allen J. Huth, President of the Ezra Project |
Sometimes, when you hear a passage of Scripture, you just need to shout the amen! This is how I feel after reading 1 Corinthians 15, so amen, hallelujah! This chapter is the first announcement of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians.
Verses 3 and 4 is a summary of the gospel, “. . . that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” That is a summary of the gospel. But did you notice that it also says twice, “in accordance with the Scriptures.” God is not a God of surprises. He already told us what would happen. This is a fulfillment of what was already written in the Scriptures.
Now let’s cover this issue about the resurrection. In verses 14-17, Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
However, verse 20 says, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.” Friends, without the resurrection, we have no Christianity. We have no faith. Paul goes on to say as much in verse 32, “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’”
Without a resurrection, without Jesus’ resurrection, there is no building block for Christian faith. But, and don’t you love the “buts” in Scripture, but let’s go down to verses 51-52, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” So there is a resurrection, not only Jesus’ resurrection, but our own future resurrections. And for those of us who believe in the resurrection, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (vs. 54-55).
And because we believe in the resurrection, we believe in the resurrection of Jesus, we believe in our future resurrections, we can say verse 58 together, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” Hallelujah! Praise God!
Thank You for the resurrection. Thank You for Your own resurrection and thank You for our resurrections. Thank You that You have defeated death and we have eternal life, all of us who believe in Your resurrection. Hallelujah, Lord! We give You the praise, glory, and honor. In Jesus’ name, amen!