Today’s devotional is the final in our series “The Roots of Redemption.” I trust you have enjoyed it and been enriched by it. The genealogy of Christ and the theological significance it holds is very deep and at the core of the entire gospel message. Chris’ summary yesterday was one of the best writings I have ever read. Review that; understand it; know and be able to explain the exchange – the imputation of righteousness. If you “get” that, you’ve really “got it.”
In the coming months of the winter and spring we will be doing two new series beginning on 1/11/15 for six weeks, and then on 2/22/15 through the Easter season and into early May. The first will be on the subject of growing beyond being a disciple to becoming a discipler, with the latter series on the book of Hebrews – so rich in the theology of salvation and Christ’s atoning work.
Big Picture Perspective
As I write these words, I do so having recently come home from the visiting hours with a family who lost a loved one. The husband of the deceased said to me, “I’m not praying for her anymore, and I am looking forward to going where she is to be there with her. We know that in Adam we all die once, but in Christ we are made alive.”
He is of course referencing the great truth from the pen of the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15 – our passage for today. This dear man was comforted by this great overarching perspective, that though we’ve got a big problem through our relationship with Adam, we have a greater solution in Jesus Christ.
While at the same event, a man approached me whom I only casually recognized. In conversation it came out that he was the grandfather of a boy I had coached at Williamsport High School. He said, “So I can see that you haven’t gotten your knees fixed yet!” To which I said, “Oh, you imagined that I was limping when I walked in?”
No, I can’t run away from my bad knee problem – literally or figuratively. I can’t even fake “not limping” anymore. I received this arthritic joint problem fair and square from the relatives – they have all had knee replacement surgeries.
And none of us can run away from our connection to Adam and Eve and the curse of sin and death that has passed down to us. But there is hope and a new connection to a new family relationship in Christ. The proof of it is the resurrection. That was just the beginning—the first fruits of a harvest of life to come—the fruits of the roots of redemption. We are more than just physical creatures; we are spiritual beings in connection with God through the work of Jesus Christ.
The Resurrection of the Dead
15:12 – But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
. . . . . . .
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.