The resurrection of Jesus also anticipates our resurrection, because we will be raised with a body like His, writes Reverend Vakaroto Ngaro of Ekalesia Avarua. 22092912
I have attended so many funerals and saw grieving families and friends over their loved ones. It still raises the question: ‘What if there is no resurrection?’ Reverend Vakaroto Ngaro of Ekalesia Avarua writes.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:12 – 34, Paul raises the
question thus: “What if there is no resurrection?” Most importantly, that would
mean that Christ was not raised from the dead. If Christ was not raised, then
Paul’s preaching of the gospel was false, and the faith of those who believed
it was worthless. All remain in their sins. Christ, though, was raised from the
dead, and when He returns for those who are His, all who have died in Christ
will be resurrected to new life, as He was after the crucifixion. Finally,
Christ will reign on earth before delivering the kingdom to the Father.
There are certain factors that we have to consider when
documenting our final analysis. The resurrection of Christ had always been an
indefinite witness amongst other entities.Why did Paul so carefully prove
the resurrection of Jesus? It wasn’t because the Corinthian Christians did not
believe Jesus rose from the dead. In fact, he makes it clear in that they did believe
it. The Corinthian Christians did not deny Jesus’ resurrection. They were
influenced either by Greek philosophy which considered the resurrection
undesirable, thinking as the Sadducees which thought the world beyond to be
just wishful thinking. The bottom line is that the Corinthian Christians
believed we lived forever, but not in resurrected bodies.
Remember that resurrection is not merely life after
death; it is the continuation of life after death in glorified bodies, which
are our present bodies in a glorified state. Then Paul raises the question as
before: “What if there is no resurrection?” Paul made a point that if there is no resurrection,
then Jesus is not risen, and Paul, and the other apostles have preached in
vain. Worse of all, if Christ is not risen, then we are found false
witnesses of God. If there is no principle of resurrection, and if Jesus did
not rise from the dead, then the apostles are liars.
It is true that knowing Jesus and loving Jesus can make this life
better, but sometimes it will make this life worse. When we understand what
Paul meant when he wrote, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we
are of all men the most pitiable,” then we would begin to understand what life
is all about. For the unbeliever, this life alone gives them any chance at
pleasure, and whatever happiness they can find now is all the happiness they
will ever know.
This is one of the essential doctrines of the Christian
faith. It is also known that the resurrection of Jesus was the firstfruit of our resurrection.
First-fruits (ancient Greek word aparche) is a word used
for the offering of firstfruits and in secular usage the word was used for an
entrance fee. Jesus was
the firstfruits of our resurrection in both senses. In the Old
Testament, the offering of firstfruits brought one sheaf of grain to represent
and anticipate the rest of the harvest. It was observed on the day after the
Sabbath following Passover. The resurrection of Jesus represents our
resurrection, because if we have been united together in the likeness of
His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrect (Romans
6:5). The resurrection of Jesus also anticipates our resurrection,
because we will be raised with a body like His.
Paul communicates these that by man, Adam, all mankind was brought
under death. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, by Man, Jesus brings
resurrection to all that are “under” His headship. The coming of Jesus described here
uses the ancient Greek word parousia. This word can simply mean a person’s
presence. But when it is used of Jesus, it has special reference to His Second
Coming as in Matthew 24:27.
“When Jesus came upon the tomb of Lazarus,
He groaned in the spirit and was troubled, and Jesus wept as in
John 11:33, 35.
The destruction of death was shown at the resurrection of Jesus,
when the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen
asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they
went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
I have attended so many funerals and saw grieving
families and friends over their loved ones. It still raises the question: What if there is no
resurrection? David made this most famous
statement, “My son is not coming back, but I will go to him” (2 Samuels 12:23).