Resurrection: Certain Hope
1 Corinthians 15:14-20
Many people around the world at this time are searching for hope. The hope of a vaccine, a treatment, the hope that even in this time that we cannot be together, we will in a bigger sense come together. Even just the hope that this will all be over soon. The hope of the normal, a return to what we know.
There are many things which give Christians hope and joy. However, there is only one thing that truly gives us hope, and is the resurrection of Jesus, without that we have nothing.
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. (v. 14)
The hope of the Christian goes beyond the cessation of this current crisis, for even when this passes, death will still come. The reality many have been faced with is that though they may not die from COVID-19, this has all reminded us that we will die. For real hope, we need is not an answer to a cause of death, but the answer to death itself.
The particular issue at Corinth seems to be the questioning of the general resurrection at the end of time. But Paul says, that if we refuse to believe in that, then we can’t still believe in Christ’s resurrection.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. (v. 13)
But if this is not the case then everything we believe is futile:
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (v. 17)
No resurrection means no hope, but…
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (v. 20)
A few weeks ago I spoke to a doctor friend of mine about this current crisis, and he said ‘It won’t last forever, it will come to and end.’ That is no doubt true, life will get back to normal. But how many will suffer? How many will die?
The resurrection of Jesus, says that not only will this pandemic be over but all death and suffering will be over. We would have no hope if Jesus did not rise, but he did, so we have certain hope. Death is not the end, life is!
Heavenly Father, Thank you that you raised Jesus from the dead. That we know that death is not the end. Thank you that Jesus is the firstfruits, and if we have faith in him we will share with him. Help us in this time when we struggle to hope, to look to the resurrection with the hope of the resurrection. In Jesus’ name, Amen