“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, 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.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19-20
How does one functionally deny the resurrection of Jesus? As Pastor Mike shared last Sunday in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, it is done as we, “Make this life ultimate and the after life an afterthought.”
Making This Life Ultimate.
Imagine with me for a moment.
Say you are a young person with a clean bill of health. You view Life as one of infinite potential. Perhaps you are starting into a college career. Maybe you are ending your college career and looking forward to that new job opportunity. Or, perhaps you are recently married and everything seems to be moving in the right direction.
All your present circumstances, your health, your success, and your comforts, are lining up perfectly. Life is good. Of course, you have had ups and downs through the years, but the downs never last long. In the back of your mind there are the beliefs, “I still have a lot of time.” and, “I have control of my future.”
Then your job market dried up.
Then civil unrest over accusations of injustice.
Then your parents start speaking of the potential end of America as we know it on November 3rd.
Then you lose a friend in the prime of their life.
Many of these troubles, you avoid or rationalize. “I’m a healthy person and won’t get that sick.” “It’s just an election, and I will be fine.” “Things will get back to normal soon.” “It happened to them, but it won’t happen to me.”
Then you see a headline in the news like, “If You’ve Just Had Covid, Exercise Might Not Be Good for You.” You read of potential cardiovascular problems that could arise if you contract the disease. Regardless of the truth of those claims, the thought is planted and doubts arise. If not COVID, it could be any thought or fear that questions your health, comfort, and freedom.
Anxiety starts to creep in. The comfort of youth and freedom are challenged.
“What if COVID steals my health?”
“What if things don’t get better in my country but worse?”
“What if I die?”
But in Fact Christ has been Raised
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” – 1 Corinthians 15:20a
Fear, anxiety, and worry about the “what ifs” of life are obliterated in the truth of the resurrection. As shared on Sunday, Christ’s resurrection establishes four truths for the Christian:
- When we speak the gospel, we celebrate our present hope in Christ. Christ has brought us from death to life.
- Death is not ultimate (Not fearful). Death is the doorway to a realized inheritance of eternity with God.
- We are no longer in our sins. The fear of condemnation is gone. Christ has defeated the penalty of sin (death) in His resurrection.
- We are not to be pitied. Because death is not the end but the beginning of great joy for a Christian, there can be no pity for our death.
If anxiety is your response to the troubles of life, let the truth of Christ’s resurrection build hope in your heart!
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Last three lines
“Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.”