“He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:6)
The message that our Savior rose and conquered death was proclaimed today in Christian churches worldwide. Christ’s resurrection is Christianity’s core. With its importance, should resurrection not be merely a noun, but actually a verb? What would it mean to “practice” the resurrection in our faith lives?
In his “resurrection” chapter, 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (v. 17). Some Corinthians denied the resurrection. Their culture and their upbringing before hearing of Jesus led them to reject Scripture’s clear teaching that Christ rose and that “the dead will be raised to live forever” (v. 52). So, Paul first establishes proof of Christ’s resurrection, tying it to the truth that all will someday arise. He also asserts that believers’ bodies will be glorified at the resurrection. This chapter is the capstone of Christ’s victory over death and the grave.
In these verses, Paul sets forth a believer’s action plan to daily “practice” the truth of Christ’s resurrection:
- “Believed: (v. 2 and 11): The Holy Spirit leads believers to trust God’s Word—including his promise of the resurrection;
- “Stop sinning” (v. 34): As Paul held the law before those Corinthians who denied the resurrection, he extols us to turn from our sin and stop doubting God’s promises;
- “Changed” (v. 52): Our resurrected bodies will change from perishable to imperishable. By God’s grace, our earthly lives will also change from sinful self-centeredness to grace-filled lives of love for God and others; and
- “Give thanks”(v. 57): In response to “the unlimited riches that Christ gives” (Ephesians 3:8), we can daily “remain strong in the faith … [and] give [ourselves] completely to the work of the Lord” [1 Cor. 15:58].
Viewing Christ’s resurrection this way leads us—by faith—to daily put it into practice.
Lord, strengthen our faith and guide us to live in the sure hope of our resurrection in Christ. Amen.
Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or email@example.com