Because He Is Risen
God of Unconquerable Love, each day You surround me with Your unfailing love. Today I am going to remember that.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-34
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the source, the reason, the basis for the inarticulate joy of our Christian lives: Christ is risen, Alleluia” (Brennan Manning).
Four times, in the starkest language, Paul has put down markers for the significance of the resurrection. Without it, he says, preaching is useless, and so is faith (14). Worse still, we are shown to be liars (15). Our faith is futile (17). We are to be pitied more than anyone (19). Without the resurrection of Jesus, the very edifice of the Christian faith crumples like a paper bag. The resurrection as a real event is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. We may be drawn by sentiment to the stable at Bethlehem or by need to the cross of Calvary, but it is at the empty tomb that a world-changing faith becomes possible. For the early church the triumph of Jesus, his bodily return from the grave, was the lens through which all else was interpreted. This was no mirage. God has come to us in bodily form; in bodily form he has died; and in bodily form he has been raised. All three great moments are acts of incarnation.
This is not the end. Resurrection is not for Christ alone. He is the firstfruits (20), the early beneficiary of what will ultimately come to all of us (22). In the resurrection of God’s son, humanity itself finds new life, and the promise moves like ripples through the created world. Ultimately death itself will be removed from the cosmos (26) and everything will once more respond to God’s loving and benevolent care. The tomb was not empty because there was nothing in it, but because there was so much life in it that nothing else could fit in. Life drives out death; chases it to the very edges of the universe, then throws it out. In the end, when all is said and done, love wins.
What does it mean to you that Christ rose from the dead? How does that affect your view of your own death? Rejoice in the resurrection today.
All praise to You, Lord. Because Christ was raised from the dead, I can live fully now and one day I know that I will live forever.
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