Sunday, March 29
Scripture: Judges 8, Psalm 42, 1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15:3–5 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.
Some of the Corinthians were denying the possibility of a resurrection; in this chapter, Paul refutes that and insists on the centrality of Jesus’ resurrection to the gospel. He begins by reminding them of the gospel, and summarizes it in verses 3-5. There are two simple couplets:
Christ died for our sins and He was buried.
Christ was raised from the dead and He was seen.
This is the gospel.
Then Paul dives into what the resurrection of Jesus means.
First, if Jesus wasn’t raised, then our preaching is useless, our faith is useless and we are still guilty of our sins. No resurrection, no salvation! If Jesus wasn’t raised, then those who have died believing in Christ are lost—as is everyone else! Simply put, no resurrection, no gospel, no salvation, no Christian faith. We are lost.
Second, Christ’s resurrection guarantees our own. “Christ was raised as the first of the harvest.” All who belong to Christ will be raised when He comes back. How do I know that I’ll be raised to eternal life, that there is life after death? Jesus’ resurrection guarantees it.
Third, Christ will reign supreme; all of His enemies will be vanquished and the last enemy to be defeated will be death. We live in between the resurrection of Jesus and the final resurrection of all of us. When Christ returns, this age will end, and Christ will reign supreme over all. We will live in a new heaven and earth where righteousness will rule and death will be no more!
Fourth, Christ’s resurrection (and ours) gives us courage to live fearlessly on mission. Paul cites his own example of facing death fearlessly for the gospel’s sake. The early Christians fearlessly served the sick and dying during the plagues in the Roman Empire. Why? They knew they’d be raised; they believed in eternal life.
Fifth, the resurrection provides moral motivation. If there is not resurrection, let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die! If this life is all there is, then be your own selfish pig—go for it. But because there is a resurrection, it changes our perspective on what matters and we live differently.
Finally, the resurrection provides purpose for living. We are on mission, and whatever we do for the Lord counts. So give it your best! Always work enthusiastically for the Lord!
1 Corinthians 15:58 “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
Prayer: Lord, we celebrate Your resurrection and the difference it makes in our lives today!