Deep in Scripture May 31, 2014

Today's Topic: Continuing Reflection on Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension, 1 Corinthians 15:20-34

Jesus_ascending_to_heavenThis is the weekend in which we celebrate the Ascension of our resurrected Lord to the right of the Father. There are many themes we could discuss concerning the meaning of the Ascension, but the Ascension means nothing apart from the resurrection. During these weeks between Easter Sunday and Pentecost, we are called to reflect on the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In First Corinthians 15, Saint Paul addressed this question, but particularly how the resurrected Christ changed his own life and therefore why he believed it should change ours. This is what we will discuss today on Deep In Scripture.

Previous Context:

19: If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Today’s Text:

20: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,

the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

21: For as by a man came death,

  by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

22: For as in Adam all die,

        so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

23: But each in his own order:

(a) Christ the first fruits,

(b) then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

24: (c) Then comes the end,

when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father

after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

25: For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

26: (d) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

27: “For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”

But when it says, “All things are put in subjection under him,”

it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him.

28: When all things are subjected to him,

then the Son himself will also be subjected to him

who put all things under him,

that God may be everything to every one.

Three reflective applications:

A: practice of baptizing on behalf of the dead:

29: Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? 

If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 

B: Paul’s personal acceptance of peril for his belief in the resurrection:

30: Why am I in peril every hour? 

31: I protest, brethren, 

by my pride in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, 

I die every day! 

32: What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? 

C: The implications for our daily life in society:

If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 

33: Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 

34: Come to your right mind, and sin no more. 

For some have no knowledge of God. 

I say this to your shame.