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? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact that dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, 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. For he ‘has put everything under his feet.’ Now when it says that ‘everything’ has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

- 1 Corinthians 15:12-28

Paul is speaking to a very specific issue concerning the Corinthians – some of the Corinthians were saying that there was no resurrection. In this passage, Paul pushes back pretty forcefully against this idea. He pushes back because the resurrection is vital to the Christian faith – if the resurrection did not happen then death was not defeated, and we are still hopeless sinners, undelivered and left with a faith that is futile. He crafts his argument by first outlining the negative implications that follow the Corinthians believing there was no resurrection and follows by reminding them the positive implications that result in the truth of the resurrection.

The resurrection matters because it is the basis of what we hope in. Christ’s resurrection is how death and sin have been conquered. All that we have inherited is founded in this fact. If there was no resurrection, then we presently are not delivered from sin. If there was no resurrection, then eternal life is not possible. So, especially in the context of when this passage was written, it was imperative that Paul clarify the truth and the implications of the resurrection.

Here is what I want you to do with this passage: Take some time to think about the implications of the resurrection. Yesterday, I had you reflect on the gospel. Today specifically, I want you to remind yourself of the resurrection & what it means. First: this means that when you accept Christ, you too go from death to life (John 5:24). If you read Romans 6, it lays out how with the resurrection, we are no longer slaves to sin & it is no longer our master. We have LIFE – and are now slaves to righteousness, walking towards holiness. Here is the implication: You no longer have to life in your old life. You get to walk away from sin and walk towards holiness. This does not mean that you will make every decision perfectly, but it means that Jesus has made it so that you have the authority to walk away from sin and the opportunity to walk in abundance & freedom. Second – the resurrection implies that Christ is raised from the dead & therefore is living and active. A huge implication of the resurrection is that we get to have relationship with Jesus. That is worth reflecting on, worth thanking God for.

God thank you for the resurrection. Thank you that Jesus rose from the dead so that I no longer am a slave to sin but rather that I have gained new life as a slave to righteousness. Thank you for making a way for me to not only be free from sin but to have relationship with Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Give me eyes to see you today. Fill my heart with gratitude. Give me the courage to continue to walk away from sin and walk towards you. Amen.

- Megan McGarrah