This Resurrection Life
Spirit of truth, direct now my attention to Your Word so that I may love it and learn from it.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-28
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.
“You could speak of Jesus’ rising as the most hopeful (hope-full) thing that has ever happened, and you would be right. Marvelous” (J.I. Packer)!
The story of the Exodus shows us a God who acts in salvation history for the sake of his people and, through them, for the whole world. Although the locus of salvation was very much this life and this nation, God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exod. 3:6,15,16), not a God of the dead but of the living. Alan Cole has called this suggestion that the patriarchs still existed, “the beginning of the revelation of life after death” and it opens up the possibility of eternal life for all creation. A fuller understanding of the hereafter awaited the resurrection of Jesus who, Paul asserts here, triumphs once and for all over death. These are precious words of promise in many a funeral service.
Resurrection makes a difference in other areas, too. A prominent atheist challenged his audience: “What kind of God sends his son to die such a terrible death?” Indeed, if Christ was not raised, then we are most pitiable (19) and our faith more futile than that of the band of ex-slaves in the desert. “If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But …” (19,20a, The Message). As David Prior has said: “This ‘But’ must rank with the great ‘buts’ of the Bible.” It is Paul’s answer: Christ did rise! He conquered death, he controls history and nothing will ever be the same again.
Do we think of ourselves as resurrection people, not relying on incarnation or immortality of the soul, but anticipating the raising of the body in the manner of Jesus? We are body-people in the line of God’s glorious creation of Adam and Eve, but redeemed to experience the original blessing, once lost, now regained.
Do you value your body as God’s creation? What difference does it make to your care of it knowing that you will be raised one day to be with Christ?
Kind and Gracious God, may Your word of hope and resurrection remind me that You can do for me far more than I could ever ask or think.
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