1 Corinthians 15 – Concerning the Resurrection

Read 1 Corinthians 15

One of the arguments in the Corinthian church, it seems, had to do with the resurrection.  Whereas Paul spent a long time talking through freedom and love because of its many applications in the Christian life, here Paul is very direction.  Without the resurrection, the Gospel itself and our faith in Jesus Christ are meaningless.

So often, we talk at length about Christ dying for our sins, and rightly so.  It is one of the single most important events that has happened in the world.  But we need to always think about it as fundamentally connected with the resurrection of Jesus Christ; they cannot be separated.  Without Jesus’ death, there can be no resurrection.  Without the resurrection, Jesus’ death is meaningless and we have no hope.

But, Paul says, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and is the “first fruits” of all who believe in Him who will also be raised.  We have hope that, when Christ comes again, we will be raised with Him in a resurrected body, something fundamentally different and yet still congruent with what we are now.

Talking about this raises a number of questions for us to ponder, but few concrete answers about what life will be like in the resurrection and what happens to us in the meantime, after we die but before Christ comes.

The question of what happens to us after our earthly pilgrimage ends is one that people have sought to answer since the very beginning.  Paul doesn’t give us any direct answers here, but consistently talks about it in terms of “falling asleep” and “being with the Lord.”  We often think about death in a sort of disembodied existence in which our soul if active in heaven while our earthly body waits for Jesus to come back.

Again, there are few concrete answers here.  There is, however, a promise in all of this: the end of our earthly journey is not the end.  When we pass from this life into whatever is to come we can do so with hope, assured that God transcends even death and holds us in His hand (in whatever form that is) until the day of Christ’s return when we will be raised and live with Him from that time forth and forevermore.