- First reading
- Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:19-26 | New Living Translation (NLT)
And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.
After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
For the first time in ten years (six in Staunton and four in Martinsville,) I am not up early to conduct a sunrise service. It’s a bit strange. I really enjoyed being up early, before the sunrise – most of those mornings over the last ten years have been crystal clear mornings – so as I walked to the church – the land was lit by the full moon. As an aside Easter always is the Sunday following the first full moon after the first day of Spring. So there is always a full moon on Easter.
My thought on those mornings walks was “was it a morning like this?” What did the women who went to the tomb expect. I’m sure they were not expecting what they didn’t find. On Friday I wrote about the crucifixion being the linchpin of human history, BUT – without what we are celebrating today, Friday would have been truly tragic. If Christ would have simply come – If Christ would have simply died – that would have all been in vain – and so would our faith – as Paul writes. The resurrection is the key piece of the redemption story. I am excited to be celebrating the resurrection today. We have spent the week remembering the price that Jesus paid for us on the cross.
Paul writes, “Death came into the world through man.” Not one of us was capable of being good enough for God. Even if we would have had the chance that Adam and Eve had, we wouldn’t have fared any better. As death came into the world through a man, NOW life (resurrection) comes to the world through another man – the God-man – Jesus Christ our Lord. Today because of the resurrection, we can be made new.
I love the fact that Easter comes in the spring – just this week, creation has been springing to life. The flowering trees have started their annual blooming and color is bursting out all over. That is what happens in our lives when we receive Jesus in to our hearts, when we live the life of faith that he has called us to live.
This morning let us celebrate!
He Is Risen!