In Touch Daily Devotional 
by Dr. Charles Stanley

Thursday April 6, 2006

Understanding the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

 

Levitical law required that the first portion of a harvest be reaped, wrapped in sheaves, and brought to a priest (Leviticus 23:10). The “first fruits” gift was symbolic of Israel’s dependence upon God. Paul evoked this familiar practice when explaining the primacy of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. God accepted Christ as the first among an entire harvest of restored believers.

 

However, the Lord Jesus was not actually the first person to be raised from the dead. Elijah prayed for a widow’s son to be restored to life (1 Kings 17:22). Jesus called Lazarus from the grave and Jairus’ daughter from her deathbed (John 11:44; Luke 8:55). The defining factor in Jesus’ “first fruits” resurrection is that He was the first to rise with a new body and never die again. He stripped death of its power. His resurrection ensured that God’s children would never have to feel the sting of sin’s penalty; rather, they had the promise that they would share in eternal life.

 

Paul explains that death entered and tainted humanity through one man, Adam. We have all disobeyed God and are subject to sin’s penalty of death. Relief from this high price was possible only if another man, Jesus Christ, would conquer the grave. But Jesus wasn’t some mere mortal; He was divinity wrapped in flesh, who saved us from the debt we owe.

 

Where are you spiritually — still in Adam or in Christ? Eternal life is available only through faith in the Lord Jesus and acceptance of His substitutionary, atoning death and resurrection. Don’t wait another day to become part of His family.

 

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