For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us;
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.
(1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
Christ being raised from the dead will never die again;
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all;
but the life he lives, he lives to God
So also consider yourself dead to sin,
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death,
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.
(1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The story of the Bible begins with God creating the heavens and the earth, all the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the animals, and at last human beings. And when God saw all that he had made, it was indeed very good (
Sadly, only a few chapters later, sin and death enter the story and God’s good creation is marred by Adam’s sin. The rest of the Bible is the story of God rescuing and redeeming creation culminating in Jesus' victory over death and the grave.
Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new creation. In his 1947 book
, C.S. Lewis writes,
“The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the ‘pioneer of life.’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has been opened.”
Easter is the dawn of a new day and we, God’s Easter people, are called to live as witnesses to the resurrection. We are called to live as people set free from the old way of life, the way of sin and death, and to live with love and courage.
We can live with love and courage because Jesus’ victory is our victory. He is the first fruits of the dead, but he will not be the last. When the glorious day of his appearing arrives all who have yielded their lives to Christ and who have allowed his Spirit to live in and through them will also be raised.
That is why our Easter shout is Alleluia, Praise be to God.
Grace & Peace,
Rev. Donnie Wilkinson
PS: I hope you have enjoyed these reflections on the
. Tomorrow, we begin a new sermon series on The Book of Acts. If you haven’t already done so, please download a copy of the
to place in your Bible. Together we will read through the story of the early church and each Sunday our message will be on one of our readings during the week.