It seems that the physical resurrection of Jesus has always been one of the hardest truths of the gospel for people to come to terms with – and no wonder! What greater contradiction of the natural order could there be?! And yet as Paul says here in this majestic passage on the resurrection – if Jesus did not rise from death then nothing else matters – the whole gospel falls apart at the seams. As Paul puts it, “if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
But praise God – Jesus did rise! And from this fact we Christians derive our ultimate joy and purpose and hope.
But of course, even for those of us who do believe that Jesus really did rise from death and that through faith in him we too will rise from death, it remains a massive challenge to live in light of this hope. One of the biggest challenges of the Christian life is to “set your hearts on things above… set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-3) and to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).
Chapter 16 describes a life that is built on the hope of the resurrection – lives given “fully to the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Let’s pray for one another – that our lives too would be full of the hope of the resurrection, that our hearts and minds would be set on things above and that we would be storing up treasures in heaven.