Speaking Of Life 4021 | The Last Enemy
Today is one of the most special days in the Christian calendar. We’re celebrating the resurrection of Christ from the dead. “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!” You see, that’s one thing that makes Jesus different from other religious teachers. Not only did Jesus leave us a legacy of teachings about the importance of loving God and loving other people, especially those marginalized by our culture, but Jesus also showed us that death doesn’t have the last word. Let’s read I Corinthians to remind ourselves of this important truth:
If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years,
we’re a pretty sorry lot.
But the truth is that Christ has been raised up,
the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.
There is a nice symmetry in this:
Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man.
Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.
But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming, the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition,
he hands over his kingdom to God the Father.
He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—and the very last enemy is death!
I Corinthians 15:19-26 (The Message)
In this letter to the Corinthian church, Paul is making the argument that since Adam introduced death into creation, it only makes sense that Jesus—God in human flesh—would overcome death.
Some might think that the resurrection means human beings shouldn’t die at all. Jesus’ death shows us that suffering and death are part of the human experience but not the end of it.
Through Jesus’ life and death, God turns everything upside down. Human beings think sickness and death are repulsive to God. But Jesus was touched by humanity’s suffering, and his death on the cross expresses God’s solidarity with us. God the Father, Son, and Spirit aren’t just watching us live our lives— but they are living in us and through us. God participates in our suffering with us, and Jesus’ resurrection affirms that death cannot hold us in its grip.
But Jesus’ resurrection is much bigger than simply overcoming death for humanity. Jesus’ resurrected life pulses through us, helping us share God’s love as we move through the world. We are not only freed from death’s grip but we are freed to live joyous lives with Christ. In relationship with him, we are transformed and brought into wholeness.
On this Resurrection Sunday, we say that death is not the end. Even more important than that, Jesus frees us to live in loving participation with the Father, Son, and Spirit right now. “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”
I’m Michelle Fleming, Speaking of Life.