1CORINTHIANS 15:12-34 (NIV – UK)
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every 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. 27 For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘All things are put in subjection’, it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?
30 And why are we putting ourselves in danger every hour? 31 I die every day! That is as certain, brothers and sisters, as my boasting of you—a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,
‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’
33 Do not be deceived:
‘Bad company ruins good morals.’
34 Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
RAISED WITH CHRIST
What happens when we die? A question that every single human being that has ever lived and will ever lived has pondered. The great Christian hope is that, just as Jesus was raised from the dead with a new resurrection body, so will all those who are in him – that’s right! Our eternal future is not body-less and immaterial – but it is as material as the world you live in now – just not corrupted – having been reconciled fully to God.
This is the thing that the Corinthians were finding it hard to believe – they were obviously ok with Jesus being raised from the dead (v. 12), but struggled to believe that they would also be raised with him on the last day. But Paul points out – if we are not raised with Jesus, then his resurrection is futile and makes no sense (v. 12-19). Without Jesus and his resurrection there is no hope.
The great news is that with Jesus we are made alive in him (v. 22) – we will be raised with him on the last day – this is the great hope we hold on to!
Question: Do you look forward to being raised with Jesus?