“IT IS FINISHED !” Is the cry that rings out over history. That cry which introduced a new era. An era where the battle has been won – the vast forces arrayed against each other – the foe vanquished. The cry that heralded the coming of God’s kingdom on Earth. The battle has been won – death has no sting anymore, sin is conquered, the foe vanquished. Yet so many saints have not embraced that victory and are still living under the bondage of sin, Satan and the law. Make this Easter a time when you step into the light of that great cry: “It is finished”, “Tetelestai”, ” It has been accomplished”, and join the throng as you all go marching to victory. Banish Satan‘s lies from your thinking. Allow Me to release you from all the chains that are holding you and all the precious souls who read this blog. Join Me in the cry: “It is finished”, as you break the rope on the finish line”.
Last week we saw how Paul placed the gospel on the forefront of this chapter (1 Corinthians 15) as being of first importance. As He discusses the gospel message in the rest of the chapter, we see his emphasis on the meaning and importance of Jesus’ resurrection as an integral part of the gospel. His arguments are sometimes a bit convoluted and hard to follow. We must understand that, primarily he is answering questions and problems from the church in Corinth. We have to sort of guess what some of those problems were, but as we do so we will get more clarity on Paul’s discussion. I am just going to lift out some salient points, which will allow Jesus to speak into your heart about this most important subject, especially now at Easter.
Firstly, there seem to have been many in the church who questioned whether the resurrection had really happened. Paul addresses that right at the beginning, by presenting the facts that are known concerning this event, vv 5-7. These are irrefutable facts, which could have been checked out by the contemporary readers. They are also the facts which we base our immoveable faith in Jesus and His resurrection on. It is not a philosophy or an ideal. It a real happening, which was well documented for their and our benefit.
In the next paragraph, vv 12 – 19 Paul raises 7 “ifs”. If Christ was not raised these ifs would come into play, ending with the resounding if in vs 19: “If only for this life we have hope, we are to be pitied more than all men”. Thus, the doctrine and belief in Jesus’ resurrection is integral to our faith, otherwise our faith would be a waste of time.
Then Paul starts to explain the significance of this doctrine in the next paragraph, vv 20 – 28 (the paragraph 29-31 is enigmatic.) He rounds his discussion of the importance of understanding the meaning of this doctrine as he sums it up in vv 54 – 57. The greatest enemy of every human is death and Jesus’ resurrection has taken the sting out of the fear of that event.
From vv 35 – 54 Paul addresses the nature of the resurrection. He is obviously dealing here with the fears and objections the Corinthians were having at the thought of old, mouldy bodies getting up out of their graves and mooching around. It is an insightful section which gives us a glimpse of what the resurrection of each individual is going to be like, but is not central to the whole of Paul’s argument.
Finally, we need to see that Paul is concerned that this doctrine should not be an esoterical discussion, but should have an effect on our everyday lives, as Christians. see vv 34 and his final v 58. I presume when he says the readers should stop sinning in v 34, he is addressing the fact that they were spreading doubts about the truth of the resurrection. It is a thought that spreading a false doctrine is actually a form of sinning.
But he brings us down to earth again in v 58, where he reminds the reader of our responsibility, “ to stand firm and give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.” Friends this important doctrine should affect each one of our lives, it is never OK to give it a passing nod. That is perhaps why the Easter celebrations are so important. So that we are reminded of the importance of this event in the overall explanation of the gospel.
May each one of you have a blessed weekend and feel even more close to our loving Lord after that. God bless.
- Be at Rest My Soul.
- Attack on the Sufficiency of Christ's Work on the Cross
- Satan seeks to sift us.
- The Israelites, an Example of Drifting Away.
- Thankfulness and Witness.
- The Power of the Gospel is Real.
- The True Gospel Leads to the Life in the Spirit.
- Parables and Listening.
- Prayer Prepares Us.