CHRIST JESUS - THE FIRSTFRIUTS OF THE DEAD
TUESDAY 20 JULY 2021
Soon after Christ's death and burial, God Himself raised Him as the firstfruits from the dead, glorified Him and placed Him in an exalted position in the heavenly realms.
Reference: 1 Corinthians 15:19-20 King James Version (KJV) "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
Imagine the Christian faith without eternity. While writing this epistolary insight in Ephesus, Paul the apostle and sosthenes tried to figure it out by saying, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." It's also likened to living a life on earth with the absence of unseen realm influencing the world around us. If that is the case, then the born again Christian is doomed. That means, there's no newness of life, let alone the hope of Christ's return. That also means, life is only physical, with everyone full of corporeal appetites, and so, all of physical engagement you see is all there is. Interestingly, its not so.
Thanks be unto God that there is life after death and true Christians are going to spend eternity with God. Hence, no room for misery or pity in Christ because our hope does not end here on earth. God gave us Christ. He came and died for us and He is risen from the dead, thereby becoming the firstfruits of them that slept. Here the term- "firstfruits of them that slept" means that Jesus is the first of a great harvest of all the righteous who have died. In another way, Jesus is the first of the crop of "the dead" to be resurrected. He is the paradigm of the glorious transformation awaiting every born again Christian in the future. So Jesus was first begotten of the dead to represent the saints, both those who have died and those who will not die before His second coming.
No wonder apostle Paul wrote, "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.'" (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 NIV).
Christ has truly been raised from the dead - the first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised. This means that the "death and resurrection" of Christ are a replica of the harvest of those God has given birth to or raised as the new creation. As Christ was raised from the dead back to life by the glory of the Father, He will also raise to life all those saints who have slept (died), receiving them with those who are physically alive at the time of Christ's return or when the time comes.
Revelation 1:5 (NLT) reads, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood." Did you grasp that? Jesus is the first to rise from the dead. What death? Spiritual death! Although He was crucified in the flesh, His death was consummated in the Spirit to free us from sin. It is by this same Spiritual intelligence that God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6 NIV). Shalom!
Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 4:18; Romans 8:18; 2 Timothy 2:11; 1 John 5:11-13.
Exuberant Declaration: My hope in Christ is priceless and it offers me a greater perspective of eternal life than of life that ends in the natural world. I have the God-given wisdom of being aware of the spiritual dimension of reality and acknowledging the realm of eternity. By my inspired and spontaneous utterance, I speak divine wisdom, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. Daily, I encounter the unseen realm by faith, thereby transcending and surpassing natural limitations and I reap the benefits in Christ. Glory to God!