1 Corinthians 15:35-58
The gospels all include an account of the Resurrection of Christ, but in order to have its meaning explained to us, we need to turn to passages in the Epistles like this one. In fact, this passage, more than any other in the Bible, explains why the Resurrection is so important.
First, we need to know that Christ’s resurrection is intimately linked to ours. Just as Christ was raised from the dead, so will we. We’re connected to him, and his fate is permanently and eternally linked to ours. The fact that he walked out of that tomb after being dead for three days means that I will one day do the same (assuming I’m not still alive when he returns).
Second, Paul felt the need to clear up some misunderstandings. The main point of the Resurrection (Christ’s and ours) is not immortality of the soul. The Greeks believed in that, along with several other ancient religions. However, what the Bible teaches is not just the fact that we’ll live forever, but that in some mysterious way we’re going to be reunited with a material body. Our final state is NOT to be spirits floating around. When Christ returns, every believer’s soul will be reunited with a physical body.
However, as Paul had to explain to them, this body is very dissimilar to the old one in various ways. It is not subject to sin, decay, sickness, weakness, or death. In fact, here’s a radical thought, but it’s entirely biblical—Everything Jesus is as a man, I will be. Now, please note the italics. I'm not saying that we’re one day going to what Jesus is as God—that’s Mormonism. No, everything Jesus is as a human being, I will be (see 1 John 3:2). Everything Jesus can do as a human being, I will be able to do. We have not even scratched the surface of everything that this means, since the Bible gives only hints.
So what does this mean to me, today? I mean, my job is lousy or non-existent, my marriage is in trouble, and I’m encountering problems every day which don’t seem to be impacted in the slightest by the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. For one thing, it means that everything will be made new one day. The sinful world around me, the intermittent triumph of evil, the sickness and death around me, all of that does NOT have the final word. Jesus does.
Second, for me personally, it means that my struggle with sin and sickness is going to have a “happy ending.” There will come a day when I confess my last sin to the Father. That insulin pump at my side and the glasses on my nose will be gone. I’ll have a fresh new body, one that will never be subject to sin, sickness, weakness or death.
Third, it also means power, in the here and now. Paul said in Ephesians 1:18-23 that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me. Think about the supernatural power that it would take to raise Jesus from the dead after three days. That power lives inside of me, today, 24-7. It’s just a question of accessing it.
Now what Jesus said takes on a whole new meaning: “Because I live, you also will live."
Now here's a great song by Michael Card, "Love Crucified Arose."
Lord Jesus, your life is mine. Because you live, so do I. Help me to live like a someone who’s alive. I don’t want to survive, I want to thrive. Nothing less than your best, ever.