1 Corinthians 15:29-58 … There is powerful teaching here, as throughout the New Testament. The text emphasizes the importance of the surety of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The knowledge of that ought to be life changing (v.34). But, we humans always want the details … who, what, why, when, how … and so Paul gives a memorable illustration, comparing death to a seed that is planted; unless it’s planted, it can’t come to life (v.36) and the seed and new life is vividly and wonderfully compared in verses 42-44. There is a principle of life and death here that’s critical to understand and that’s in verse 50 … flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. And so (this is a deeply spiritual subject) God has caused death to be such a part of life that death and burial are essential to the new and eternal life. That’s what baptism represents in a spiritual sense for believers to live their mortal lives gratefully in Christ, but it’s also true in a final sense. Death of the physical body is the enablement of the spiritual body. But there’s more, there is a physical resurrection. Verse 51 clearly declares we will all be changed. There will be a connection between the spiritual body and the physical resurrected body because (v.49 and also clearly stated in 1 John 3:2) we shall be like the Risen Lord Jesus. The conclusion is celebratory, (Hallelujah!), because there is victory over death in Jesus Christ. I don’t expect that any can comprehend the depth of these verses in one sitting. It is an amazing truth that merits return again and again. It concludes with a most wonderful and encouraging word (1 Corinthians 15:58) which ought to be added to your collection of memory verses … I’ll give it to you in the King James because that’s the way I learned it, but you select whatever translation you’re most comfortable with. Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
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