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Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Corinthians 15:20

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

For further study - I Corinthians 15:1-23

This 15th chapter is a power-packed portion of Scripture. I guess that you have noticed that our reading today is out of order, we were to have read a portion of Nehemiah which we will do tomorrow. I have chosen I Corinthians 15 for today, Easter, the traditional day to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Our reading today is the evidence that could be used in a court of law to find Jesus guilty of resurrecting from the dead. There were eyewitnesses of the appearances of Jesus Christ alive, after His death - in fact over 500 of them.

I love this chapter of I Corinthians because it begins with the Resurrection of Jesus and concludes with the Rapture of the Church when He calls us to join Him “in the air” forever more.

In the very first verse, Paul says here is the "gospel." Then, in verses 2-4, he gives us the gospel, the “good news”. The “gospel” is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verses 5-8 tell us of those who saw Jesus Christ alive after His resurrection. The number is over 500 people in Jerusalem and in the Galilee who saw Him and could give testimony of the fact that the Lord was alive.

This evidence would stand up in a court of law to prove Him guilty of resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the “cornerstone of our faith”. If He did not come back to life after death, then we are still in our sin, I Corinthians 15:17.

By the way, the resurrection of Jesus is the “foundation for the truth” that if we should die before the Rapture we will resurrect from the dead also, I Corinthians 15:20-23.

Not only is the resurrection the cornerstone of our faith, it is the “foundation for Bible prophecy”. Revelation 1:18 says that Jesus claimed to be that One that was alive, dead, and alive, forever more.

Revelation 1:19 then reveals to us the future as Jesus tells John to write of those things which were, which are, and which will be hereafter. That is an outline for Revelation and the story of the End Times.

One final thought, because of the Resurrection of Jesus, that power that raised Him is available to each of us who know Him as Lord and Savior. We, by faith, can appropriate the “resurrection power” of Jesus to live through each and every day, Ephesians 1:19-20.

In a later devotional, we will look at the last portion of this powerful passage and study the prophecy of the coming Rapture. Remember, we can believe that there is going to be a Rapture because of His Resurrection.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for giving me the Resurrection power to live daily, for You.