Our Ultimate Hooray, Part Two

1 Corinthians 15:19–22

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:19–22)

Just imagine . . . those who are physically disabled today will one day dance in beautiful coordination and leap in ecstatic joy. Those who spend their lives absorbed in total darkness will see every color in the spectrum of light. In fact, the first face they will see will be of the One who gives them sight. And those precious souls whose minds and emotions are limited by mental disability, disease, or old age will enjoy to the full unhindered and uninhibited relationships. It’s enough to put a smile on any weary face. There’s nothing like the hope of resurrection to lift the agonizing spirits of the heavyhearted.

Unless, of course, it’s all a cruel hoax.

That’s Paul’s whole point in 1 Corinthians 15:19. Remember how he put it? If bodily resurrection is only an empty dream, then “we are of all men most to be pitied.” All our preaching has a hollow ring to it, our faith is worthless, the dead have perished, and we are still under the condemnation of our sins (15:14, 16, 18). What a deplorable state of affairs! It’s enough to make all of us run and hide!

But wait. That hypothetical argument hinges on a conditional presupposition . . . if. “If there is no resurrection of the dead” (15:13), then we’re out to lunch. But there is a resurrection with all its promised hopes. It is as sure as we’re alive at this moment.

How can we be so certain that we will be resurrected? What is the source of our assurance? What gives us unshakable confidence in the face of death? The fact of Christ’s resurrection.

Because He has been raised, we too shall rise. As Paul stated in that same section of Scripture, “Christ [is] the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (15:23). That’s us! Jesus Himself promised, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25).

No wonder we get so excited every Easter! No wonder we hold nothing back as we celebrate His miraculous resurrection from the grave! It’s a double-barreled celebration: His triumphant hurrah over agony and our ultimate and eternal hooray.

Copyright © 2007, 2011 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.