This week while doing a revival in Darlington, I’m staying in the farm area of Cumbria in the north of England. One of the things that excite the farmers are when the first crop of the season ripens. The farmer has diligently prepared the fields, sown the seeds, and tended the seedlings. If the first fruits are good, then the farmer can have confidence that the rest of the harvest will be good as well.
On Sunday morning of the resurrection, Jesus became the first fruit of a much greater harvest. His body had been sown like a seed on Friday, but it was then raised new, glorious, and indestructible on Sunday. What is true of the firstfruits will be true of all who trust in the name of Jesus: One day, all the dead in Christ will be raised to new life in Him. Hallelujah!
The Corinthian Christians believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead, but they weren’t so sure about their own future resurrection. So, Paul reminds them that there are plenty of witnesses who saw Jesus with their own eyes and they can therefore find confidence in the promise of their own resurrection.
Paul says, “brothers and sisters, if you know Jesus, you will be raised to new and glorious life, just like our Lord.” Because of this hope, we can live without fear of death and instead walk in freedom because we know death is not the end. And because we know death is not the end, we know our love in this life is not in vain. It prepares us for our future home in heaven. Indeed, love will be the culture of Christ’s heavenly city. In the meantime, our works of love in this life serve to bless others and, Lord willing, usher them into Christ’s Kingdom.
Today, with a promise of our own resurrection, we know that now begins the life of grace, faith, and hope of eternal life. The life for which we have always longed for, we believe this life is a spiritual dress rehearsal for the one to come. We must let love and joy reign in our hearts, for with each passing day, we are one day closer to the glorious return of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Yahweh, thank You for Your sacrifice that has given me a place with You in heavenly places for eternity. Father, may I live confidently in this life because I know my hope is sure. God, in this reality, may I love others more and remain spiritually focused. In Christ’s name. Amen.
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