1 Corinthians 15:12-20 Reflection:
Paul cuts to the very heart of the gospel in today's reading. It seems that some people have been beginning to say that Jesus did not rise from the dead but Paul says that belief in the resurrection is at the very heart of the gospel.
He actually goes further and says that if Jesus did not rise then all his preaching and the preaching of the other apostle’s counts for nothing. When Jesus became human he raised up the dignity of all people, he honoured human nature and made it worthy of redemption.
When he rose from the dead, he was the first to do so and because he has been raised we also shall rise on the last day. The resurrection of Jesus is the cause of our resurrection and if Jesus did not overcome death then no one shall.
What Paul is saying is that the resurrection is the central tenet of the faith: he reasons that if Jesus lived for this life alone then all who die would have no hope. But Jesus came to make this life and the next life in heaven into one big long life that is in effect eternal and never ending.
Two points show the importance of this. The first is that in the funeral service of the dead, when the body is being taken from the church for burial the priest says: ‘for the Christian life is not ended, it is changed.’
And again, scripture says, ‘for God, all people are alive.’
Jesus died and rose and we shall do the same: that is the central tenet of our faith.