The Resurrection and the Life
By Heather Lynn 10 Minute Read
Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). Let that sink in for a minute- He is the only person to die and rise from the dead, so He is THE resurrection because He is the only one to do it, but He also is the life. From Him flows everlasting life. He not only gives life, but He IS the life. For the Christian, we believe that we were dead in sin, and because of the cross, we have been resurrected with Christ. We get to truly live a life more abundantly because of His death and resurrection. As the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15 states, this is the good news of the gospel! So why is life with Jesus so much better than life without him? Let’s look at the rest of 1 Corinthians 15 and explore what makes Christ’s resurrection so vital to the Christian life.
Verses 3-4: When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world. The moment sin entered; a rift separated man from God. Sin cannot exist in the presence of a holy God. Man was condemned to eternal death and would need reconciliation to mend what was broken. So there had to be some sort of sacrifice for God and man. When Jesus died on the cross, He became that sacrifice and bridged the gap. He brought restoration to man. Without Him, we are still condemned, but when we choose Jesus Christ, we gain His salvation and are promised an eternity in Heaven with our Savior! These verses tell us that His death and resurrection, the events we celebrate at Easter, happened just as the Scriptures say they did. They are what brings about life for the Christian.
Verses 5-11: There are many people, past and present, who try to discredit Jesus by either stating that He was just a good teacher or by claiming that those who had witnessed His resurrection merely had hallucinations. These verses describe all the people who saw Jesus after His resurrection- it even states that 500 people saw Him at one time! They were not all hallucinating! Many had seen Jesus die on a cross, and those same people saw Him ALIVE after His death. Some of the same witnesses were still alive at the time Paul’s letter to Corinth circulated. No one could disprove His words. There are still people who try to disprove His authority today, but His Word has stood the test of time.
Verses 12-19: What does the gospel message mean for the believer? Without Christ’s death and resurrection, there would be no hope for the world as this set of verses states. There would be no forgiveness and we would remain guilty and lost. Christianity would look like every other religion based on a “religious leader” and their teachings. The difference? We do not serve a teacher, but a living Savior! Every religious leader had a beginning and an end, but our Savior always existed with God and is the only one who rose from the dead. This gives Him power over death and darkness. Paul knew Him in a personal way that changed His entire life. He went from persecuting God’s people to embracing not only the teachings of Jesus but Christ Himself. He wrote to the church of Corinth and many other churches from a place of both conviction and deep devotion for His Rescuer.
Verses 21-23: The resurrection of Jesus brings life for the believer because through it, Jesus defeated the power of death and deleted the curse of sin. Sin entered through Adam, and with it came death, destruction, and sorrow. Every man born since then is born with mortal, corruptible bodies and wandering hearts. However, through Christ and His resurrection comes life as verses 21-23 state. Christ conquered death and erased the claim it had on us. With the life Christ gives us comes the promise of eternity. However, verse 23 says that only those who belong to Christ will be raised to life again in the Rapture. Many will not choose God’s free gift of salvation and will not inherit eternal life.
Verses 24-28: Jesus’ resurrection represented the first fruit of the resurrection to come. In the old testament, the Israelites would offer their first crop as an acknowledgment of His provision as Exodus 23:16 and Proverbs 3:9 describes. His resurrection was the first of the harvest of souls that will rise when Christ returns. So not only is Christianity built on the foundation of what Christ has done, but it looks forward to a resurrection that cannot be found in other religions. He will raise His people to eternal life. After He returns, He will finally destroy His last enemy: death. Only then will He establish His perfect kingdom free of sorrow and sickness. What hope for the believer!
Verses 31-34: Paul’s devotion to the Lord drove Him to put His sins and selfish desires to death daily. He truly knew what it meant to work out His salvation (Philippians 2:12). In the same way, we will face our own selfish desires daily and will have to choose whether we will give in to those fleeting pleasures or live like we’ve been redeemed! Those who don’t know Christ and His salvation give in to these temporary pleasures because they live for themselves. When we bear His name, we serve a great purpose, and we are a part of something greater than ourselves.
Verses 35-44: Some might think it foolish that a body could be resurrected as Paul states in this next set of verses; they might question how a body would be raised and what kind of bodies they would have. Such questions come from a finite mind that can’t understand such a concept or how physical bodies could resurrect. However, the resurrected body and the physical body are not one and the same. Paul breaks this down for the people by using an analogy of a seed and how it has to die before emerging as a plant. Just as a seed differs from the plant it becomes, so the incorruptible, resurrected body differs from the wasting, physical body. Christians can take comfort in the belief that when their loved ones step out of this life and into the next, they come face to face with Jesus until the complete resurrection during the Rapture (see Philippians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 5:1,8, Luke 23:43). This great event will mirror Christ’s rising from the dead and signal His complete victory over death.
Verses 51-57: The greatest quality of Christ’s resurrection is the victory He claimed over death once and for all. Isaiah 25:8 explains that the Lord will swallow up death forever. God’s plan of salvation for the sinner claims victory over the sinner’s life, rescues his life from the power of death and promises him eternal glory with Jesus. Just as the grave was not the end for Jesus, death will not be the end for the Christian. The Rapture promises us that those who have gone before us will rise and that we will be caught up with Him to spend eternity with Him as King.
His resurrection is the heartbeat of the Christian life. It gives purpose to the believer and allows him to be strong and immovable as verse 58 tells us. Paul also promises us in this closing verse that nothing we ever do will be useless with the power of the resurrection behind it. As Easter approaches, cling to the One who defied death by doing what no one else could do. Cling to the Restorer of life, the Redeemer of our souls, and the One who resurrected and became King of our hearts. He is the resurrection and the life, and NO ONE comes to the Father except through Him!