The Last Word

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:19

Her name was Saralyn, and I sort of had a crush on her back in our school days. She had the most wonderful laugh. I’m not sure whether she knew about my crush, but I suspect she did. After graduation I lost track of her. Our lives went in different directions as lives often do. 

I keep up with my graduating class in some online forums, and I was intensely sad when I heard that Saralyn died. I found myself wondering about the direction her life had taken over the years. This is happening more and more the older I grow, this experience of losing friends and family. But many of us tend to avoid talking about it.

While we still sorrow, the hope the apostle Paul talks about is that death doesn’t have the final say (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). There is something that follows, another word: resurrection. Paul grounds that hope in the reality of the resurrection of Christ (v. 12), and says “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (v. 14). If our hope as believers is limited to this world only, that’s just a pity (v. 19).

We will one day see those again who have “fallen asleep in Christ” (v. 18)—grandparents and parents, friends and neighbors, or perhaps even old schoolyard crushes.

Death doesn’t get the last word. Resurrection does.

What does Christ’s resurrection mean to you? How might you express your faith and point someone to the hope of the resurrection?

Jesus, may the power of Your resurrection become more and more evident in my life. May it be clear in my words and actions, especially as I interact with those who do not know You.

INSIGHT

Paul’s preaching and that of others in the New Testament about the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:12) was rooted in Old Testament Scriptures (vv. 3–4). Their preaching followed the example of Jesus who also referred to these Scriptures to enlighten His perplexed disciples about His resurrection. He said, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. . . . This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day” (Luke 24:44–46). Peter spoke of Christ’s resurrection in Acts 2:23–28 and quoted from Psalm 16:8–11 to show that this was predicted by David. Then Peter quotes Psalm 110:1 to show that David also predicted Christ’s ascension and exaltation (Acts 2:34–36).

Arthur Jackson

By |2019-09-11T13:56:18-04:00September 5th, 2019|