CHRIST: THE FIRSTFRUITS
Lord, each day is a precious gift and my desire is to be a responsible steward. I rejoice in this new day.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-34
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[a] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”[b]
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[c] 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAlleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! In what ways have you been changed because Jesus is risen and has conquered death?
In yesterday’s reading, the conclusion was bleak (v 19). Today, there is a different story (v 22). Adam represents the starting point of humankind choosing to go their own way, breaking relationship with God (Genesis1-3). ‘But Christ’ (v 20) brings humankind back into relationship with God. Verses 20-28 are full of life and hope. Read these verses again slowly, noticing the good things that Paul says will happen because of Jesus’ resurrection.
If this is all true, to say there is no resurrection doesn’t make sense (vs 29-32). In those times, some people were baptized on behalf of a loved one who had died. We may not understand this today – but, in any case, without resurrection, it didn’t make sense! And Paul himself has been willing to risk his life for them because of the hope he has in Christ. What would be the point if it was all for nothing?
There is another danger in not believing in the resurrection: some were saying, if death is the end, you might as well live how you please now (v 32b). Watch out, Paul warns, ‘Don’t get in with the wrong gang’ (v 33). Don’t be distracted from following Christ by others who live as if there is nothing after death.
How has Jesus’ resurrection helped you to live as a Christian? Who are others to whom you can bring this good news?
Dear Lord, this is such a difficult passage to understand, So often I need your illumination to understand your Word. Today I ask for clarity.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.