1 Corinthians 15:12-34 (NIV)
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. 29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
How would your life be different without the hope that you will be resurrected?
Holy God, I long to be with You in Heaven surrounded by Your love, void of all sin and corruption. The hope of being resurrected strengthens and encourages me. It is the lifeline that I hold firmly to get me through a crisis. The day will come when You destroy all powers and forces of evil. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. If Christ had not surrendered Himself to the sorrows of this world, human beings would be without hope. If there is no resurrection, the consequences are dire. The resurrection really matters. The message of Jesus’s death and resurrection is good news. It is the gospel. Father, thank you that Jesus died for my sins and You raised Him from the dead so that I could be totally forgiven, set free, and, one day, be raised with Christ. This Christmas as I sing of Jesus’s birth, instead of focusing on the gentle Jesus meek and mild that makes everyone feel so warm and fuzzy, I will focus on the Warrior Prince who will defeat sin, death, and evil. Help me to receive Your gospel truth and believe it so strongly that I am willing to take a stand for it. Make it my greatest desire to share it with those who do not know You as Lord, so that they too may have the hope of Your salvation. Amen