SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.
Lewis F. Galloway shares, “People come to worship with open wounds and unresolved grief over a miscarriage, the death of a child, the suicide of a mother, or the death of a life partner. Beyond the personal experience of death, instant communications have made almost everyone keenly aware of the vast scale of human tragedies in our local communities and in the world. Can God truly value physical existence when so many people die of abuse, random violence, genocide, and famine? There is every reason in the world to question, doubt, and disbelieve the resurrection, except one: ‘But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died’ (v. 20). Since the resurrection of the body stands at the core of the Christian proclamation, the implications of this belief touch every area of congregational life and ministry.”
Galloway really hits deep with his question “Can God truly value physical existence when so many people die of abuse, random violence, genocide, and famine?”. It probably even hits hard right now in the midst of a pandemic and all of the other major events of this year. I have heard people who do not share a faith in God use this kind of question to try to poke holes in the idea that God is not a loving God, because how could a loving God let these horrible things happen? But I always find myself coming back to the reality that these things are caused by humanity’s actions (in one way or another) and are a reflection of our free will. I do agree with Galloway though that the exception to questioning and doubting the resurrection is found in verse twenty, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.” God values humanity’s physical existence enough that God sent Jesus to suffer and die that the world might be saved.
Take a few minutes today by yourself (as best you can) and consider the following questions: Where do you doubt? What are your questions of life and faith this day?
Resurrecting God, we lift up our human doubts this day. Take them and remind us of that which we can be assured, that you are always with us. Strengthen our faith through the work of the Holy Spirit, that our doubts might melt away and our relationship with you might flourish. Amen.