Monday, April 24, 2017
The Fact Is
1Cor. 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.
In this letter to the church in Corinth Paul continues to bring home the point of the resurrection. Everything was different as a result of Christ having been raised from the dead. He preached this as a fact which became the turning point of history. From this time on the Christians viewed death differently than those in the secular world. Their language surrounding death became that of sleep. This was nothing to fear for there would come a time when the individual who died in Christ would again wake up. This was now fact because Jesus was the first who had been raised from the dead, preparing a pathway for all of those who would come after him. Paul preached the resurrection as a fact which would, and did change history.
There are facts in life which we believe intellectually and there are those which affect us in practice. I have always been struck by the illustration of the man who walked the tight-rope across Niagara falls. He was able to cross over from one side to the other, and then made his return. The crowd was in awe of his talent and applauded him. Next, however, he retrieved a wheel barrow and asked the crowd whether they thought he could make the crossing with it. Of course they applauded and said they were sure that he could. However, it was the next question which led to silence. Would there be someone willing to get into the wheel barrow? No one responded for there is a giant leap from simply believing the facts and living the facts in faith.
The resurrection is a pivotal moment. Jesus has walked the tight rope to hell and back and is now the first fruit of those who will die. Next, he invites us to participate in his life. Intellectually we can do that, but in reality, it’s more difficult. We are to climb into life with Jesus, heading out into perilous spaces where we will not always be safe. The Lord reminds us that he will be with us and care for us because he’s already been through it all. At the same time we may be clinging to our own personal safety nets, none of which will save us from death. Ultimately death will come to everyone but what comes after depends on whether we have trusted in Jesus.
The fact is, Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed!) The result of that fact is victory over death. Jesus has already made the perilous journey safely and now he reaches out his hand to all of us and tells us he will safely see us through. These are the facts. What will we do with them?
Lord, may my vision be clear as I keep my focus on my resurrected Savior. Amen.