“But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’ How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies” 1 Cor 15:35-36. There are several things about these two verses that go contrary to current practices. Paul repeats questions that were important sticking points for the people in Corinth and then he slams them for asking them. “How foolish!” Today’s teachers say, “There are no stupid questions…” Every time my cynical mind hears an instructor repeat that line, my thoughts continue an unsaid part of the phrase that I’ve added, “…only stupid people.” Then I smile quietly to myself. Paul lived under a different set of cultural sensibilities.

The reason he is upset at those questions is because they carry more doubt about the resurrection, the topic he is emphasizing with them throughout this chapter. Jesus’ resurrection is real and the resurrection of believers will be too.

Resurrection is a picture of one of the principles God wove into the fabric of the universe – that life is brought on through death. Jesus said the same thing in John 12:24. “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” The death of a believer is transformation, not expiration. For a believer, death to self happens at conversion to Christ and continues through growth and maturity as believers regularly take up their cross and follow Jesus. Paul wants believers to be confident and not in doubt. A mature believer’s whole life is about dying to self. Death is familiar and not feared.

This idea is real even though it was the afterthought of creation or the result of sin. Death is a burden and privilege of this lifetime, but will not be that way in heaven. Which is stronger in your heart, fear of death or confidence in the resurrection? Take some time to process that question. Thank the Lord for overcoming death and giving us the opportunity to die every day so the day of death might be nothing new.

John Riley
Jr. High Pastor

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