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April 24 - June 5, 2022
In the Church Calendar, the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost (50 days) are known as Eastertide or Paschal tide and is a season of joy in the Christian tradition. Eastertide is an ongoing celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus and so following Easter we will use this ancient tradition to unpack 1 Corinthians 15 - the apostle Paul’s great text on the hope of the resurrection.
The promise of resurrection is the bedrock of the Christian faith and it is rooted in the historical resurrection of Jesus, the vindication of God’s Messiah, overcoming death and bringing a new kind of life with Him.
The resurrection of Jesus is a real event as far as Paul is concerned, and it underlays the future real event of the resurrection of all God’s people. (NT Wright) This reality is central to our identity as God’s people - we are resurrection people, being brought through death to life as part of God’s new creation.
The resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian faith. The gospel or good news that is announced about Christ is that He is victorious and has overcome death itself. More than that, the resurrection of Jesus is rooted in history - Paul outlines the many people who encountered the resurrected Christ, including himself, verifying the reality of this difficult but necessary element of our faith.
Paul is writing to people in Corinth who are struggling with the notion of resurrection. Dead things don’t become alive again, and yet this is not just central to the faith but a necessary part of it. Whether people were arguing that there would not yet be another resurrection or were claiming that Christ was not really raised in bodily form is not totally clear, but it is clear that Paul is articulating that the bodily raising of Christ and what it means for the future hope of creation is non-negotiable for true Christian faith. In Scriptures, there is a close correlation between sin and death, and so, as Wright notes, the thrust of what Paul is saying here is that if God has overcome death in the resurrection of Jesus, then the power of sin is broken; but if He hasn’t, it isn’t. This sets the stage for where he’ll pick it up again in vv. 29-34. The idea of resurrection is profound, but it is necessary and has been established in Jesus already.
The resurrection of Jesus is a foretaste of what is in store for those who belong to Him. Even in the same way that sin entered the world and brought death to all, now in Jesus, resurrection life has entered the world to bring life for all who believe. The resurrection is a powerful statement of the victory of Jesus over sin, death, and the grave and that He alone is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Paul picks up his argument from vv. 12-19 here, calling the church in Corinth to consider again why it is fundamental to the faith to believe in the resurrection. To rationalize and try to explain away the resurrection is to dismiss the very thing that God has done to save us.
- May 22
- May 29
- Jun. 5