This past Sunday, Christians around the globe celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the reality of Christ’s resurrection never loses its wonder because of what it means.
We have a tendency to diminish our physical reality in favor of a non-physical reality, and we do it in so many ways. In the time of the early church, Greeks did it through philosophies that encouraged hedonism with the gratification of all kinds of fleshly desires. Today, we tend to view our physical bodies as the containers of our spirit, which is thought to be the real us.
But the resurrection does something that no other philosophy, ideology, or faith claim can do. It brings us down to earth where we belong. In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul talks to the Corinthian church and settles many issues that arose within this very spiritual assembly of believers. A lot of false teaching arose that he had to address, and one of those teachings was that the resurrection had already passed.
If any Corinthian was tempted to have their minds high in the clouds because of how much supernatural power they experienced, Paul explains in chapter 15 how pointless our faith would be if it wasn’t for Christ’s resurrection:
For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
I Corinthians 15:16-19 (NKJV)
It shouldn’t surprise us that Paul’s explanation of the resurrection and its central importance to our faith comes right after the chapter on tongues, and why love should be the motivation behind our pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit.
Some in the Corinthian church used supernatural experiences as a badge of superiority over others, but it was Paul’s demonstration of a physical reality that displayed the foundation of our faith. It’s what made our faith valid, more than the spiritual experiences that happen within our faith.
It is Christ’s resurrection that gives us a sure foundation for the hope that we live by, in spite of the death and suffering we still encounter all around us. His resurrection allows us to value our own bodies, with the expectation we have for God to restore our own bodies and the planet we live on in the future.
We live by faith because faith isn’t just a spiritual concept. It is an assurance we have because we can trust God based on His faithfulness and actions in history—in time and space.
I pray this prayer for me and you that we never forget how real this faith is and how much we can walk by faith without pity. That we will not be gripped by fear, but we would walk boldly before others in love, knowing what Christ did to save us.
I spoke on the true reality of faith on YouTube recently, be encouraged as you trust in the Lord!