As we gather to celebrate Easter this Sunday, Christians around the world focus on the reality and meaning of Jesus’ resurrection announced by the angels — “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6)
Interestingly, Jesus’ resurrection is called the “first” in 1 Corinthians 15:20; even though there were other resurrections.
In fact, there are three resurrections described in the Old Testament. 1 Kings 17 records the story of the prophet Elijah bringing a child back to life.
2 Kings 4 tells of another child resurrected but this time by the prophet Elisha.
As if these stories can’t get more miraculous, 2 Kings 13 says a dead body came back to life after being thrown into Elisha’s grave. Clearly, all these resurrections happened before Jesus’ did.
Then, Jesus himself resurrected people from the dead. Luke 7 and 8 describe two different times that Jesus’ brought children back to life.
Jesus even brought one of his friends, Lazarus, back to life after he’d been dead for four days. (John 11) Again, these clearly happened before Jesus’ resurrection.
So, how could Jesus’ resurrection be called the “first” one?
It’s because his resurrection was the first permanent one, meaning that he came back to life to never die again. All the other resurrections mentioned did bring people back to life, but they all died again.
Jesus is also the first because what happened to him will also happen to us.
1 Corinthians 15:23 says, “But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.”
We know we will be resurrected because Jesus was the first. So, we live and die hopeful of our future resurrection. Not with the “wishful” kind of hope, but with the faith-driven kind of hope that knows confidently we will rise from the dead too.
Thank you Jesus for going first.
Join Mosaic Family Church in an Easter celebration this Sunday. Those in attendance will have breakfast together at 10 a.m., with worship and children's church beginning at 10:30 a.m. At 11:45 a.m., the children will participate in an Easter egg hunt.
Mosaic meets in the Auburn Christian Fellowship building located at 315 S. Gay Street in Auburn.
Jeremy Walden is the pastor of Mosaic Family Church, a nondenominational church in Auburn, and teaches Family Communication at Auburn University. Find Mosaic Family Church online at www.mosaicfamilychurch.org or follow the church on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with sermon series and events.