The Resurrection of Our Lord
March 31, 2013
In an October 2006 U.S. News & World Report article entitled “Science and the Soul,” Jay Tolson declared that science has been unable to find any evidence of an immortal soul that survives the death of the body. This disturbed many. “If there is no soul,” they reasoned, “how can we then survive death?” Is the confidence of the church misplaced? Are we who have hoped in Christ “of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19)?
Our confidence is not misplaced. Though the Greeks argued for an immortal soul, the New Testament is much more concerned with the concept of resurrection. When the body dies, the mind, the body, the spirit, the soul—all die. Our confidence is not in the survival of some small part of us that cannot be extinguished. Our confidence is in the God who loves us in life and in death, and remembers us, and calls us from death into eternal life, just as he did Jesus!
Jesus is the first born from the dead. He is not the last. Jesus is “the first fruits of those who have died”; he is not the whole harvest. As Paul writes: “For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam [the natural man], so all will be made alive in Christ [the heavenly man]. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:20–23).
This morning Moravians around the world will visit God’s Acre. We will look upon the gravestones of those whom we love, and remember how they were in life. As we visit the nations underground, let us also recall the One for whom the grave was not a final resting place, but just a house of passage. And let us reflect upon the truth that the Risen Christ is God’s promise to us that God has not abandoned us in our little world of time and space, but in the person of the incarnate Son, Jesus the Messiah, has penetrated it, shattered it, and begun its transformation. Our hope in Christ is not for this life only!
Worth Green, pastor, New Philadelphia Moravian Church, Winston-Salem NC