God Gave Us Promises, Devotional 3

God Gave Us Promises (Week 3, Devotional 3)
By Ben Davis
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. - 1 Corinthians 15:22-25

When we think about the gospel, our minds often default to the significance of the death of Jesus, but equally important and often neglected is the significance of the resurrection of Jesus. It is of such importance that Paul tells the church in Corinth that if Christ has not been raised then their faith in Him is futile and they are still in their sins (v. 17). The resurrection of Jesus confirms that the Father has accepted the atoning sacrifice of the Son for His church. Those who believe in Jesus receive not only His body and blood poured out for their sins, but also His resurrection life.

When Jesus came at Christmas, He brought new life into the world. When Martha is mourning the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus tells her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die." This is what we celebrate in this season, that although by a man (Adam) death into the world, by another man (Jesus) has come also the resurrection of the dead (v 21).
Jesus, the resurrected Messiah, is the firstfruits of God's forever kingdom. Jesus compares himself to a seed of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, only to multiply its fruit in a new harvest of life (John 12:24). The promised Messiah is the firstborn from the dead who is reconciling to himself all things (Col 1). In Christ, what is sown perishable is raised imperishable (1 Cor 15:42). In Christ, what is sown in dishonor is raised in glory (v. 43). In Christ, what is sown in weakness is raised in power (v. 43). Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall bear the image of the man of heaven (vs. 48).

And so, as we reflect on the first coming of our Messiah in this Advent season, may we also look ahead in joyful anticipation to His second coming. The end of all things is at hand – our enemy the devil, his cohort of demons, and death itself will forever be crushed under His feet. Death will give way to life as Jesus will present His Bride to the Father and the dwelling place of God will once again be with man to the praise of His glory and grace! Jesus first came to die, he is soon coming again to raise us to new life with Him. Come Lord Jesus! Come!

Questions for Application
  1. How does the resurrection of Jesus give us hope in this life?
  2. What does the resurrection of Jesus, and the future promise of our resurrection, give you hope for in the future?
  3. How can you learn to better wait for Christ’s return?
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