What is the gospel? You have sinned and sin requires death. Christ died to stop God’s wrath from destroying you! Is that the gospel? Yes. Well. Part of it. This is part of the gospel but we have to be careful not to make it the whole gospel. When Paul starts this section of his letter to the church in Corinth (Ch 15), he begins with saying, “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you.” He then spends a significant amount of time talking about the resurrection. Jesus’ death on the cross is of vital importance but we have often under-emphasized the resurrection. Paul places the resurrection at the center of the gospel.
What is “Resurrection”? What part of you resurrects? When Jesus resurrected, was any part of him left in the tomb? If Jesus resurrected in the body, how is this different than resuscitation? If you didn’t watch the video yesterday about heaven and earth, take a moment to look at yesterday’s blog and watch it. The promise in the resurrection of Jesus is a bodily resurrection. The image I always saw in cartoons growing up was a spirit leaving the body, adorned in a robe, with wings, a halo, and playing a harp. How is Jesus’ resurrection different than that? What does this tell us about our resurrection?
Death was the consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve. Death is at the core of the brokenness of this creation. When a baby is born, it is born into this brokenness. Jesus entered this brokenness so that he might conquer it. For God so loved this world, he gave his Son. Paul draws a parallel between Adam, who brought death into the world, and Jesus, the new Adam who brings life. The life you have experienced up to this point is only a glimpse of the true life that you will have in the resurrection!
Death, the last enemy, has been destroyed! Therefore, the life we live today is not one of preservation of this current life but one of planting seeds for the next life. What good you plant in this life, you plant in partnership with the work of God. He will redeem it in the New Creation. All that is sown perishable will be raised imperishable. In receiving the Spirit, you have received the resurrection in part but not fully. Life in the Spirit is a life lived as a signpost pointing to the next life where life is fully lived. Where life is lived as God intended it to be. Where there is no longer any pain, suffering, war, hate, brokenness, and even more so, there will be no more death. Thanks be to God! We have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!