If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 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. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Cor. 15:13-26
Exalted and resurrected Lord Jesus, we praise, bless and worship you, this glorious Easter morning! You lived in our place and you died in our place; and have risen from the dead as our triumphant Lord, loving Savior and reigning King! The same joy that filled Paul’s heart as he wrote these words, is now our joy.
Because you are alive, Lord Jesus, preaching the gospel is not useless; it’s essential. Faith in you is not futile but fertile. We’re no longer encased in our sins; we’re fully wrapped in your righteousness. Those who have “gone to sleep” in you are not slumbering in the void; they are savoring your resurrection glory.
We are less to be pitied than anybody and more to be grateful than everybody. Because you have been raised from the dead, everything changes, Lord Jesus. You are the firstfruits and guarantee of a whole new order—the “new creation” dominion of redemption and restoration. The decay in our earthly bodies will give way to the delights of our resurrection bodies.
The kingdom of this world has already become, and will be fully manifest, as the kingdom of our God and of you, his Christ. You are already reigning, and you will reign forever and ever. You are working all things together after your will; and you are working in all things for our good. All evil dominions, wicked authorities, and malevolent powers have already been defeated by you, and one Day will be completely eradicated by you. Hallelujah, many times over!
Lord Jesus, your death is the death of death, and your resurrection is the resurrection of all things. Oh, the wonder, the glory, the grace! In light of this great hope, free us from the pettiness and emptiness of living for ourselves. By your compelling love, propel us into a life of living for your glory, in your story, with your joy.
We are free. We are loved. We are yours! Hallelujah, what a Savior; Hallelujah, what a salvation. So very Amen, we shout and pray, in your most glorious and exalted name!