But we celebrate Easter Sunday because death is not the end. There is a second Adam. And this Adam was not born from the dust. His birthplace was heaven. He is the Son of God and this second Adam took on human flesh to die for our sins and to be raised in 3 days, not only to prove that He was the Son of God but also to defeat death once and for all.
If you are born once, you die twice. You are born physically and you die physically, but you also die spiritually. We call this hell. Two deaths, one physical and the second spiritual. But, if you are born twice, thanks be to Jesus, you die only once. If you are born again, born a second time spiritually, when you die, you will be raised with Christ and live with Him in heaven.
Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.
If you’ve never given your life to Jesus, He is inviting you to be born again, born a second time in the Spirit. If Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, begin praying right now that you may have the courage to receive His offer of forgiveness and eternal life. You’ve been in the driver’s seat long enough and you’ve made a mess of your life. Surrender your life to Jesus and let him love on you and lead you.
I want to end with the last portion of this chapter, starting from v51 —
1 Cor 15
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I love this section. I love what Paul is doing here. Paul is trash talking death to its face. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? You call that a stinger? You couldn’t poke through jello with that thing. In other words, death, where you at? You think you’re so tough. Death, you’ve been bullying humanity since the beginning of time. Thankfully, Christ came along and you thought you took him down when he was hanging on the cross. You thought you were victorious over Christ on Friday. But guess what? Sunday came.
Jesus is the Author of Life. He is Life itself. If you think about it, how can death possibly hold down the Author of Life? Death was overmatched from the beginning. It’s like Gulliver’s travels. You can have an army of Lilliputians trying to hold down Gulliver, but to him, the ropes are like little strands of thread. He can get up whenever he wants. That is why I love the imagery of death being swallowed up. Death was a big fish in a small pond, but Jesus is a whale. Death was swallowed up, it was overmatched, it was overwhelmed, it was no contest.
For the first time, death lost on Easter Sunday 2000 year ago. And death has been losing ever since. Death has been on a serious losing streak. Followers of Christ from one generation to the next have fallen in line under the Second Adam. The new and improved Adam. Adam 2.0. And as we profess Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, the victory over death that Jesus attained becomes our own. v57 —
1 Cor 15
57 But thanks be to God! He gives US the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are victors! We are more than conquerors. We live in the bright hope of eternal life. The same power of the resurrection that coursed through Jesus’ veins is in us. We, too, are filled with the Spirit. That means, we can look death squarely in the face and tell it, you got nothing on me. You can’t touch me. I’m in Christ. I’m His. Death can take everything away from you, you can lose everything in this life, but death can’t take away your eternity. No wonder Jesus says, if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. Because of Easter, we can look at our lives and let it go. Because there is no reason to clutch onto it anymore. Our lives have been redeemed, purchased by the King of kings and Lord of lords. He has our back. Therefore, we can confident to face anything that life throws at us.
After the disciples experienced the power of the first resurrection, something in them fundamentally changed. They were unstoppable in preaching the good news that Jesus resurrected from the dead. They recklessly abandoned everything, including for many, their very lives in service of the King.
How will you respond on this Easter Sunday? v58 —
1 Cor 15
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.