Tag Archives: What does the resurrection mean?

Finally Some Good News: Raised on the Third Day

All writers – whether they are writing plays, novels, essays, textbooks, comic books, cookbooks, or the First Epistle to the Corinthians, it doesn’t matter – write with an awareness of what is coming. When the Apostle Paul started this section we know as chapter 15 – but really, when he penned the first words of this long letter to the Corinthians – he knew where he was headed. He knew he was going to write about the resurrection.

It was one of the chief reasons Paul wrote this letter in the first place. There were people in Corinth who were distorting the teaching of the resurrection and misleading church members – quite possibly in the public meetings Paul described in the previous section.

Paul knew that people who get the resurrection wrong will get lots of other things wrong too. If you are working on the most complex differential calculus equation ever and get 2+2 wrong, you will get everything else wrong as well. What basic addition is to mathematics, the resurrection is to faith in Jesus.

Yet it is worth noting that Paul, while taking the Corinthians’ error very seriously, does not condemn people for their wrong thinking. He doesn’t tell them that they will be accursed unless they get the doctrine of the resurrection right. It is not Paul does not use that kind of language; he does, just read Galatians. But he reserves it for people who abandon Jesus, not for people who get their theology wrong.

On the Sunday before Easter, a Sunday School teacher asked her class of four and five-year-olds: “Does anyone know what today is?” A little girl’s hand shot up and she said, “Today is Palm Sunday.”

The teacher said, “That’s right, Kara! That’s very good. Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?” The same hand shot up again. After waiting to see if any of the other children wanted to answer, the teacher said, “Yes, Kara?” And Kara proudly answered, “Next Sunday is Easter.”

“That’s right,” the teacher said. “And does anyone know what happened on Easter?”

Of course it was Kara who answered. “Jesus rose from the grave.”

But before the teacher could congratulate her on yet another right answer, she went on: “and if he sees his shadow, he has to go back in for seven weeks!”
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