Tuesday, April 14

Our Resurrection Victory

In 1 Corinthians 15 we read how the apostle Paul was inspired to write about the meaning and mystery of the resurrection. Today, our devotion concludes a three-day journey through this chapter by focusing on these words: 

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  51   Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52   in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  53   For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  54   When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55   “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56   The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 
57   But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58   Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Let’s focus on three parts of this passage.

1.      “the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (v.52) No explanation of how, it is a mystery (a miracle). We who put our faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, will, at God’s right time, be raised from the dead.  In our resurrected and perfected bodies (see verses 35-49), we will be in the presence of God forever.

2.      But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (v.57) Our eternal existence is not predicated on anything we have done. It is a gift through the salvation won for us in Jesus Christ. Thorough the resurrection of Christ, we experience the resurrection victory.

3.      Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (v.58).  In view of what is to come (our resurrection victory) today we focus on what God would have us do. Today we are steadfastly focused, immovably fixed, continually thriving in the work of the Lord. God’s Work? The great commandment: Love God, love others. The great commission: make disciples. As we love God and love others, we help others connect to God’s love in Jesus Christ. Thus, we pray as Jesus taught us: “your will be done.”

Prayer: Lord, Jesus Christ, thank you that your resurrection means I too will be raised from the dead.  Help me to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in your work, knowing that when I do your work, my labor is not in vain. Your will be done. Amen.