Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
In chapter 15, Paul takes his readers back to some fundamental doctrines of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The text raises the question that the Corinthian Christians must have been thinking of “The resurrected body and how the dead body would look like?” (15:35). It is quite understandable why Corinthians were thinking this way. They must be experiencing a lot of suffering and persecution by living under the Roman Empire. Also, in an age where no healthcare system existed along with scarcity of food for many, these may have resulted in a “hope” to escape from an unhealthy physical body. To help Corinthian Christians understand what resurrection means, Paul presents two illustrations. First, the seed must sow and die for it to sprout (15:36,37). Second, the creations and different parts of it – men, animal, fish, birds, and heavenly bodies, all have a different splendor. Paul makes an analogy with creation and celestial bodies in an attempt to describe the splendor of the “Resurrection” (15:39-41).
Starting v42, Paul tries to explain that both the physical and spiritual aspects of our being that the body is sown perishable and is raised imperishable. Paul clarifies that the perishable and imperishable are not compatible, so if your whole body has not been cleansed from sin through faith in Christ and made alive by receiving eternal (imperishable) life from Him, you “cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”
Paul continues to explain by comparing sown from Adam, the first man, and raised in Jesus, the last Adam. The first Adam brought death, but the last Adam brought life for all (v45). The resurrection body is a composite of the earthly and heavenly. Our earthly bodies are like the “first Adam”; our heavenly bodies will be like Christ’s (v49).
Paul is convinced that the believers will be transformed as Christ has been transformed. Paul can make this bold claim because he has seen the resurrected Christ that changed the course of his whole life (15:8-11). Paul also brings up something we too often forget the fact that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable" (v50).
Maybe, the most inspiring part of this passage is the reassurance we receive that in the end, death will not have the final say. "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (v55). In a world where death can seem so frightening and so final, we live knowing that death has been conquered. Though this doesn't always diminish the pain of losing a family member or friend, however, it is a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness to us and His promise to us that He is victorious, even over death (v57).
Finally, this section of text does not answer all our questions about resurrection. However, this section of the text does assure us that the bodily resurrection is fundamental to our faith. Maybe, during this time of Easter, we should uphold the revelation of the risen Christ and the mystery of the Christ’s return (v51,52).
Heavenly Father, Thank-you for the incredible gift of eternal life that you have given to us. Help us to see what victory over death looks like, and enable us to remain steadfast in our faith till you return. Amen!
Thought for the day
How is this Easter resurrection strengthening our faith? We are to be raised and that everything done in the power of the Holy Spirit and through Christ will last for eternity. Are we afraid or discouraged with seeming failures? Will we trust in Christ no matter what the outcome could be? Our work for Him is not in vain, unsuccessful, or meaningless (v58).
Immanuel MTC, Virginia