Posted by: Scott | Sunday, April 16, 2006

Up from the grave He arose!

I had this prepared to post yesterday, but due to a WP.com system fault I held off. Even though it’s a day late, I have edited the timestamp to reflect this as being posted yesterday. SB

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as 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. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. [1Co 15:12-26]

What comforting words on this Resurrection Sunday! Some folks come to mind contemplating this passage today:

  • Kathy and Joel Seidler went home to be with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ last summer on a remote Wyoming highway. This happened less than a year after husband/father Tom Seidler passed away from stomach cancer.
  • Missionary Roy Tubbs was called home earlier this year after many years of faithful ministry. In his latter years when his strength was weak, he continued on serving as a prayer warrior.
  • One of the older gentlemen in the church I attend has had a longing to be in Heaven these several years after the passing of his wife. Mr. Laxson loved his country and loved his God and he had no fear in telling you what he saw as being right (theologically or politically)

All of these are in a far better place. According to this passage, is it any wonder that so many fear death? They see it as “The End.” Sometimes that “end” is something that humanly is very tragic. Sometimes, it’s something that has been expected (e.g. prolonged illness). Those that are in Christ have nothing to fear. We remember His resurrection today. I would encourage you in fact, to read the entirety of 1 Cor. 15. There is so much there to reassure the Christian and to bring curiosity to the unbeliever.

Can we be comforted in the death of a Christian? Psalm 116 tells us that in the sight of God, a Christians’s death is a precious event.

On top of that, consider this:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. [1Th 4:13-18]

(Scripture quoted from ESV)

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