Christ’s Resurrection Guarantees Ours
Open Your Bible
1 Corinthians 15:1-28, Romans 5:12-21, Genesis 3:1-7, Genesis 3:17-19
BY Erin Davis
“We can go first, and we can go last” is a mantra I’ve taught my sons to say since they were little. My goal is for them to have the confidence to be leaders when required and the humility to be followers when necessary.
We all want to lead the charge when something is easy or exciting. But what about when it’s daunting or dangerous? We don’t want to go first, then. Often, we don’t want to go at all.
“You go first,” is whispered on the precipice of peril. “I’m right behind you” is most often spoken with bated breath. Yet, as we stare into the dark cavern of death, Jesus gives us a reason to lay aside our anxiety. Through His resurrection, He said, essentially, “Don’t worry. I’ll go first.”
Though no other man had faced death and lived to tell the story (at least not for long), Jesus changed the paradigm. When Christ burst from the tomb on resurrection morning, He pardoned the death sentence of all who claim Him as King. Instead of forever death, we receive eternal life.
It is good to look at the cross and thank Jesus for taking your punishment for sin. The cost He paid to redeem you was high. He has earned a lifetime (and beyond) of your praise. But consider this: the resurrection was not an afterthought. It’s no less a part of the miraculous salvation Jesus has secured for your sake than the penalty for your sins paid at the crucifixion.
Paul said it this way, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone” (1Corinthians 15:17–19).
The resurrection gives us a right-now hope and a hope that extends beyond life as we know it. Because the penalty for sin is death (Romans 3:23), Jesus had to feel the sting of it. Because everything is under His feet (Ephesians 1:22), He couldn’t let death have the final word.
Unless Christ comes again, you and I will both have to stare into the dark opening of death and step into it. When that moment comes, we may feel afraid or unsure. Our sin-bent hearts may wonder, “How can I know there is safety on the other side?”
Here’s how: Jesus faced the enemy of death and emerged victorious. He went first so that your sin couldn’t sentence you to death. Take heart today, follower of Jesus. Yours is not a worthless faith, after all. Jesus, your sinless Savior, is the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1Corinthians 15:20). And where there are first fruits, there will always be seconds.