Scripture: 1 Cor. 15:12–28
Key verses: (15b-16) But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
Reflection: The thought of a bodily resurrection made some Corinthians wince; the idea of a God who raised corpses was a scandalous thought. However, the belief in the bodily resurrection is not optional for Paul. If there is no resurrection, there is no hope. If there is no resurrection, then all we have is this life and the gospel really has no “good news” at all for us eternally. Paul’s hope for resurrection was no longer a distant future dream. His experience of seeing the resurrected Christ changed his perspective on God’s renewing promises for God’s creation (1 Corinthians 15:8-11). Paul’s hope for resurrection was now a reality here and now. God’s life-giving power invaded the world and conquered death by resurrecting Jesus. With this act, death no longer has the final say. God has declared certain victory of death.
In an age when church attendance is declining and in a time of ordered separation, some have chosen to share only gospel “fluff” that is universally friendly. Although wise council for living, like the message of kindness and peace are certainly worthy goals, the gospel (as scandalous as it is) demands more. At the core of the gospel is a God who refuses to hand over creation to the evils of the world and corrupt powers of sin and death. This is a God of life. A God who sent the Son to give life to the world. A God who raised Jesus from the depths of death. And that is good news indeed.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
Prayer: Life-giving God, the weight of the world was carried to the cross by your Son Jesus Christ. In Christ’s death we have died to sin. In Christ’s resurrection we have gained life eternal. By your grace and mercy, death has lost its power and sting. May we live into the promised resurrection by the way live each and every day. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].