Prepare for the Resurrection
The apostle Paul began 1 Corinthians 15 by discussing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. In the fourteenth verse of the chapter, Paul states, “…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the center of every Christian’s faith. Without the resurrection, there is no hope beyond this life. Without the resurrection, those who die faithfully attain nothing. Without the resurrection, Paul says, “we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19).
Paul lived to live again. Paul gave up a successful, well-respected life as a Pharisee to serve Jesus as his Lord (Phil. 3:1-11). Paul did not serve Jesus to enjoy a peaceful, easy, physical life. He served Jesus because he fixed his eyes on the future. He served Jesus because “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…” (1 Cor. 15:50). He served Jesus because death is not the end of life.
Every year people proclaim goals they have set for themselves. Some resolve to exercise more, others to spend more time with their family, while still others might resolve to further their education, or achieve some other personal goal. These are good goals to set, but our goals for our existence need to extend far beyond a single year. Our existence does not end at death, the resurrection is real, and our goals must include our existence in eternity, which follows death.
The outcome of your resurrection depends on the way you prepare now. Paul described the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, saying, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” For those who have prepared well, the resurrection will be full of rejoicing. To prepare yourself well, obey the gospel of Jesus Christ and faithfully serve Him for the remainder of your time on earth (1 Cor. 15:57-58). For those who have not prepared well, the day of resurrection will be filled with disappointment and unending pain (2 Thess. 1:8-10). As you do other things this year, set this goal at the center: Prepare for the resurrection, because death is not the end.