“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” – 1 Corinthians 12:12
Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
The Corinthians objected to the resurrection of the dead, apparently believing that receiving the Spirit made the body unnecessary (v.12): “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
People had a dim view of the body in the ancient world. The body was seen as the locus of suffering and pain and thus a necessary evil. It’s therefore unsurprising that when Paul preached about the resurrection of the dead at the Areopagus in Athens, some scoffed (see Acts 17). If the body were the source of so much pain, and death represented the final release of the soul from the troublesome body, how could receiving the body back in resurrection possibly be good news?
But Paul situates the resurrection at the centre of the Christian hope. If you deny a future resurrection, it must follow, Christ Himself was not raised. But if Christ is not raised, then the whole Christian faith is a sham: the preaching of the gospel is futile, everyone remains in their sins, and Christian believers are of all people most pitiable. The resurrection of Christ is the hinge of the Christian faith, the launch of the new creation and the ground of Christian hope.
The Christian hope, as we shall see, is not simply that we will receive our bodies back at the resurrection, but that our present bodies will be powerfully transformed at the resurrection.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God today for your body and for the promise that one day it will be transformed and made incorruptible.
Dr. Bill DeJong is the lead pastor of Blessings Christian church in Hamilton, ON and adjunct professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University in Ancaster, ON. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.