“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.”
1 Corinthians 15:20
Yesterday I’ve paid a visit at the hospital following the remission of infection after most anticipated kidney transplant of one I revered as one of my spiritual mothers. She resembled the physique, the humour and the cheerful spirit of my biological mama. But as I draw the dividing curtain up to see her in the space-stricken ward, my knees softened and misty-eyed took over on the sight of her. She wasted a significant volume of weight and pathologically down-hearted, the life in hers’ starting to fade. This has reminded me of Apostle Paul’s addressing the Corinthians about the gospel especially in reference to Christ’s resurrection. Paul writes this chapter to correct their thinking, teaching about what resurrection from the dead means for born-again believers.
He begins by reminding the Corinthian Christians of what they believed when he taught them the gospel of Jesus. They believed in both the death of Christ for their sins and the physical resurrection of Christ from the dead on the third day. In short, they believed the gospel. Since so many eyewitnesses to Christ’s resurrection were still living, the Corinthians could choose to remain confident that Christ did indeed walk alive out of His tomb (1 Corinthians 15:1–11).
After declaring that he would not continue to lead the dangerous and costly life of an apostle of Jesus if there was not resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:29–34), Paul begins to describe what the resurrected body will be like. Shallow thinking, or superstitions of that era, might have assumed “resurrection” meant a reanimated corpse. Or, they might have wondered how a rotting or corrupted body could exist in a heavenly realm. Instead, Paul described our current bodies as the seed that will die to make way for a far better body built to exist in eternity. That body will be as different from our current bodies as a man is from a star or the moon (1 Corinthians 15:35–41).
The natural-born physical bodies of believers are perishable, temporary, dishonorable, and weak. They will be raised imperishable, eternal, glorified, and powerful. These natural bodies, made as Adam’s was from the stuff of earth (Genesis 2:7), will be transformed into bodies like the one Christ was raised with and made of the stuff of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:42–49).
Christ didn’t just die for our sins. That wasn’t the whole plan. After He dies on the cross, three days later, He rose from the grave. His resurrection defeated the power of death. God has promised that a day will come where we will all be resurrected and given glorious immortal bodies, following the example Christ gave us after His resurrection.
Dear God, the promises You have made for us give us hope for the future. I eagerly await the day Christ will return and raise us all into our glorious forms-from from all infirmities. Oh Abba Father in the midst of crushing brass of this fallen world especially these days, let the lyre in our hearts singing the melody:
When I fear my faith will fail Christ will hold me fast
When the tempter would prevail
He will hold me fast.
Until then, I will continue to abide and grant us Oh Abba the wisdom and strength to do Thy will whilst we cleaving onto our earnest anticipation of Thy coming. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen