Raised from the Dead!
Scripture reading for November 26th: 1st Corinthians 15-16
One of the stumbling blocks for intellectuals is the resurrection. This was so in the Corinthian culture of the early church. The resurrection is foreign to anything our mind can truly understand. Death seems to the natural eye to be irreversible. Doctors can treat a person, but they can’t keep them from dying, and raising someone from the dead so that he will never die has not yet happened. The Apostle Paul addresses the subject of resurrection in our reading today.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” (1st Corinthians 15:3-6)
At the heart of the Gospel message is Christ’s resurrection. First Jesus appeared to Mary at the tomb. (John 20:13-18) Then Peter saw the Lord and then the Twelve, minus Judas, so Him (Mark 16:14) The two disciples saw Him on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:31-32) Thomas got to put his fingers in the holes of Jesus resurrected body and became a believer. (John 20:26-28) Finally, Jesus appeared to over 500 brothers at the same time! (1st Corinthians 15:16) Christ’s resurrection was well documented. These men were either lying or telling the truth. If they were lying, many of them went to their death rather than change their story!
Not only has Christ been raised from the dead, but all who believe in Him will also be raised from the dead! Resurrection is a key truth of the Christian faith. Christ’s resurrection guarantees our resurrection, if we are trusting in Him. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1st Corinthians 15:20-22)
Our resurrection is like the planting of a seed. A seed goes into the ground and dies. At the proper time, the seed germinates and a new plant comes up. It is not like the seed that was sown. So is the resurrection body. Our body is sown in weakness and decay; it will be raised in glory. It is sown as perishable. It will be raised eternal and imperishable! It was sown a natural body, going back to dust. It will be raised a spiritual body that lives forever! (1st Corinthians 15:42-44)
This change will happen at the “last trumpet”! In a split second, the perishable body will be changed into an imperishable eternal body. Death will be swallowed up by victory in Christ’s eternal life! What a glorious day that will be! It is the hope of every true believer!