We began April by celebrating Easter. Despite all the self-destructive paths our culture is currently pursuing, we cannot help but be encouraged by the implications of our Lord’s resurrection.
Paul called the resurrection of Jesus the “firstfruits” of “they that are Christ’s” (I Cor. 15:23). That I Corinthians 15 chapter should be studied by every believer.
“Firstfruits” were exactly what the name implies. They were the first fruits produced by a young tree. These were offered to God. Like the tithe, they represented the whole—every fruit that tree would produce. If Christ’s resurrection is the firstfruit (singular, as there is only one atonement), then it represents all resurrections to come. The physical resurrection of the dead was once commonly preached as the hope of the believer. Now it is all too common for Christians to believer the afterlife is an ethereal, ghostly existence. Paul, however, said our bodies will be raised again, then changed from an earthly, natural body to a heavenly one. He does say it is a spiritual body, but that does not mean it is ethereal. The word “spiritual” means “of the Spirit” of God and His power.
Paul was clearly referring to a physical, bodily resurrection of believers. Death will be undone as “the last enemy that shall be destroyed.” The resurrection of Jesus will mock the grave—“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (v. 55).
Too commonly, we only read Paul’s words as a future hope, which they very much are; but remember the resurrection demonstrates “the last enemy” that will be destroyed. That necessarily means our Lord is now at work, as He has been, and that “the gates of hell” will not prevail against Him or His Kingdom.
We at Chalcedon, along with those who partner with us, continue to proclaim the Lordship of Christ and the certain advance of His Kingdom.