You may remember that Corinth was a part of ancient Greece. Greece was the center of philosophical thought during the apostle Paul’s day so it was not unusual for the church there to have to deal with the concepts and theories of the day. It was often taught in Paul’s day that the spirit of man was eternal while the body of man was weak, unimportant, and unable to be changed. Many who became believers in Jesus as Savior tried to mesh these teachings with their faith in Christ. Since Christ was without sin, they believed there was no way He actually lived in a weak, undisciplined body. Therefore, His resurrection from the dead was spiritual and not physical. Paul teaches the truth of a bodily resurrection and shows the importance of that resurrection to the believers in Corinth.
- The Resurrection from the dead is necessary for redemption.
Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve. They were not “spiritual ghosts” floating around on clouds. They were flesh and blood beings living in a tangible environment. They sinned in the flesh not in concept. Their sin affected their entire created structure: spirit, soul, and body. For redemption to be total in scope, it had to redeem all three aspects of mankind: spirit, soul, and body.
1 Peter 4:1 – “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.”
Christ died bearing our sin. If He did not rise from the dead, sin killed Him and won the victory. If sin killed Christ, sin still has control over us. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, there is no guarantee of a hereafter and Jesus was a liar. If there is no resurrection from the dead, do you have any hope that God can change your circumstances?
- The Resurrection from the dead reverses sin’s judgment.
The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
To be delivered, we have faith, not just in Christ’s lordship but also in His resurrection:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Sin’s punishment is death. This death affects all three created areas of life: spirit, soul, and body. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead did away with the punishment of sin and His Second Coming will completely destroy death! Death’s victory over mankind comes through sin. Once sin is paid for and it’s power destroyed, death loses its sting. At the Second Coming, death will be vanquished and all its affects reversed!
- The Resurrection places the body back in complete command over creation.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve lived lives free from sickness, death, and injury. In other words, they were physically in command of their environment. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead restores mankind to that state of command. Jesus’ resurrected body could walk through walls. It could travel through time and space. It was impervious to injury or death.
Yet, His body was as real as it had ever been. When meeting His disciples after His resurrection, Jesus said to them in Luke 24:39:
Behold My hands and My feet that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
After saying this, He showed them His hands and feet. They recognized Him by the physical scars of the crucifixion. His body was free from the control of sin and death!
Then, Paul goes on to say that there will come a day in which we will all be changed by Christ’s resurrection! He is the firstfruit that sanctifies the entire harvest to God! It will happen in a moment:
Greek – “atomos”. You can divide a second but not an atomic second!
The dead in Christ will rise and those who are alive and remain will have their bodies changed. Our bodies will be:
No longer decaying but indestructible!
No longer physically common but heavy with glory!
No longer handicapped by weakness but miraculous in function!
No longer revealing the flesh but revealing Christ!
You don’t have to wait to experience resurrection power. Verse 20 of chapter 15 states that “Christ is risen from the dead”. In Greek, that means “a past event with continuing action”. Get plugged into resurrection power! Let the power surge lead you into new life now and a new body later!