Friday in the Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Corinthians 15:20-28

Christ’s Resurrection Is the Father’s Victory

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.”  Prior to this statement, Paul was challenging the proposals of some of the Corinthians and saying, in effect, that (to paraphrase), “If there is no resurrection of the dead, as you so say, then neither has Christ been raised, as is the logical conclusion of your argument.”  But then Paul announces the glorious truth just quoted: Christ is risen!  So what does our Lord’s resurrection mean in this passage?

First, Paul shows that God has established an order to the resurrection of people.  Christ is called the “firstfruits.”  Now, why is this?  Because Christ was the first to rise from the dead, which was his specific honor.  No, the Old Testament saints did not experience a resurrection upon death.  Of course, their souls went to heaven (or “Paradise,” Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:3), but their bodies remained in the grave.  As for appearances before our Lord’s resurrection, such as our Lord’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36), we must assume that Moses and Elijah appeared before him in some spiritually visible form, but not in the body.  2) And as of right now, Christ is the only one to have risen, for “then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”  These are the “all” who have been made alive in Christ AMONG the “all” who are dead in Adam.  At any rate, the distinction of resurrection belongs solely to Christ at this time, though he shall share that resurrected state with us upon his return.

But Paul continues.  The resurrection is the crowning event of the Father’s royal power, His seal and testimony that only He is Ruler of all things.  Even death, the last enemy to be destroyed, is “living” on borrowed time.  At the present time, the Father has subjected all things under the feet of Christ who reigns from the Right Hand of Power and who is slowly bringing all creation under the dominion of Him who already rules it.  But the time will come when that which is now invisible to us will become fully visible to all.  And in that day, our Lord shall give everything over to the Father that He may be the “all in all,” not in some Eastern sense in which we all become united into God as a drop in the ocean, but in the sense that He shall reign over all and be our reason for rejoicing in a kingdom where our souls will be purified of all sin, such that we may inhabit glorified and perfected bodies, without corruption or decay, sickness or disease.  We shall finally be fully alive, in perfect fellowship with God—which is what we were created for.  The resurrection serves as the beginning of the end and the end of the beginning, the vindication of our God who has and will have the victory.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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