Firstfruits of the Dead #1013

19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:19–22, NKJV)

The Christian’s hope in Christ goes beyond the here and now; it reaches into eternity. Our hope “enters the Presence behind the veil” – into God’s holy and heavenly habitation (Heb. 6:19). The future resurrection of all the dead is at the heart of our hope; without it, our faith crumbles (1 Cor. 15:12-19). The empty tomb of Jesus is an ever-present witness to the fact that the dead will be raised. Indeed, His resurrection from the dead was the beginning – “the firstfruits” – of the dead (v. 20). Just as the firstfruits of the field foretell the harvest to come, the resurrection of Jesus signifies the future resurrection of all the dead. Bodily death came into the world as a result of Adam (Gen. 3:19). Bodily resurrection will happen because Christ was raised. Christ’s prediction of our resurrection is assured by His resurrection (Jno. 5:28-29). The Christian’s hope will be realized on the great hour when “all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (Jno. 5:28-29). Our hope is secure. Death is not the end.