Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
1 Corinthians 15:12-21 (NKJV) Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
What truth is revealed? We all know about the inevitability of death; we just don’t spend much time thinking about it…until it lands near our doorstep. This was one of those weeks. A relative of mine died. She was not that old. (Younger than myself) She probably should not have died. (Which is another story) But, she met the inevitability that we will all face sooner or later. There is no doubt that it is a time of mourning for us who knew her; but know this, we do not grieve as those that are without hope. What is our hope? That all of us who put our faith in Christ Jesus will live beyond death’s door.
What can we learn from this teaching? There were some knot-heads in the early church who were teaching against the idea of resurrection. The Apostle Paul put on his apologetic's hat and took them to task. The whole purpose of Christ’s mission to our planet was to save us from sin, and the consequences of that sin. The consequences of sin is death; and Jesus has conquered death. Jesus was raised from the dead and was the first of many that would follow His lead. Death came into the world through the sin of Adam. Life has come through the atoning work of Christ!
How can I apply this truth to my life? Every day that I live brings me one day closer to the inevitability of death. My time will indeed come and is coming. What shall I do? Fret and live in fear, dreading the day of my demise? How about this: Put my trust in the One who overcame death, hell and the grave! Have courage and make the most of each day that has been granted to me. Live with hope and without regrets; loving and being loved. It is a fact that Jesus lives; and so shall I, in this life and into the next...
Questions to Consider:
rMatthew 28:1-8 (NKJV) Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." So, they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to bring His disciples word.
If I was to write a resume for Jesus, I would start with two incredible events that sets Jesus apart from every other person who has ever graced the face of planet earth. Jesus was impossibly born of a virgin; and He topped that by conquering death. It’s mind-blowing, Jesus was crucified, buried in a tomb and then, just as He had prophesied, He somehow overcame death and was alive again!
King David spoke about the specter of death; about the danger posed by the enemies that sought his demise. He concluded that the Lord, his God had the power to grant life. He rejoiced and declared, “I cried out to you, O LORD. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.” You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Psalm 30:8-12
Jesus surprised His followers. They visited the site of His tomb. They found that the giant stone had been rolled away, and that the tomb was filled with empty grave clothes. Jesus’ demise had been greatly exaggerated. He wasn’t “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” He was the victor; the champion; the Savior; the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the everlasting God! He could not be defeated. He could not be destroyed. He could not be set-back. He could not be deterred. But, He could win. It was indeed a victory over death, sin and the grave. But, Jesus did not win this incredible victory for Himself alone; it was a victory for everyone who would Believe and Confess that Jesus is Lord! To this day, we share in the joy of that first Easter, when the disciples heard the good news, “Jesus is alive!”
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.