Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-28
The resurrection of Jesus is without question the most pivotal truth of the Christian faith! Paul makes it clear in 1st Corinthians 15:16-20: 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” 20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
If life doesn’t continue then it didn’t continue for Jesus. If life doesn’t go on your, faith is empty, and you haven’t been forgiven. If life ends at death, then Christians cease to exist and we have missed what life is all about.
Paul was writing to people who refused to believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus! It seems that they still wanted to follow and adhere to his teachings, but stopped short in their belief that he defeated death! Paul is logically helping them to understand that Jesus is more than a moral teacher whose teachings lead to a full and balanced life. He is much more that a moral influence! Paul’s point is that life continues! It does not end with your final heartbeat and breath!
The first law of Thermodynamics says that no mass or energy is ever destroyed, that it merely changes form. When a piece of wood is burned, it is not gone. Some of it becomes heat; some deteriorates into the ashes. But it is not destroyed – it just changes. When a lake dries up, the water is gone. It has evaporated into the air, only to fall to earth again someday. If we can see this all around us in the physical world, is it so hard to conceive of it in the spiritual world? Harry Emerson Fosdick said, “Can it be that God is the most unscrupulous waster in the universe making great personalities, only to throw them utterly away.” If we can see it in nature, can we see it in the sphere of faith? We, too, can have the same confidence that the apostle Paul had when he said, “We shall all be changed.”