Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

The resurrection is central to Christian faith

April 2, 2024

Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

12 So if the message that is preached says that Christ has been raised from the dead, then how can some of you say, “There’s no resurrection of the dead”? 13 If there’s no resurrection of the dead, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. 14 If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our preaching is useless and your faith is useless. 15 We are found to be false witnesses about God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, when he didn’t raise him if it’s the case that the dead aren’t raised. 16 If the dead aren’t raised, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. 17 If Christ hasn’t been raised, then your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins, 18 and what’s more, those who have died in Christ are gone forever. 19 If we have a hope in Christ only in this life, then we deserve to be pitied more than anyone else.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Paul’s question in verse 12 (“How can some of you say, ‘There’s no resurrection of the dead?’”) was not hypothetical. “Paul’s careful argument in this section is designed to show the Corinthians, starkly, what would follow if you were to declare that there is no resurrection. Since this is what virtually all ancient pagans believed, the best explanation for why some in Corinth were denying the resurrection is that it made no sense within their surrounding world-view.” *

  • “Rhetoric used repetition to reinforce points; Paul dwells on an important point here, repeating “if” six times.” ** Knowing some Christians in Corinth wanted to harmonize his preaching of Jesus’ resurrection with Greek philosophy that totally denied the possibility of bodily resurrection (cf. Acts 17:30-32), Paul stressed that denying the resurrection undercut all Christian faith. Review his six “if” statements. How much of the Christian message would survive if Paul (or you) agreed with those “ifs”?
  • “We need to be clear about what the word ‘resurrection’ meant for Paul and his hearers…. It meant, very specifically, that people already dead would… return to an embodied life.” That was essential to the good news. “The fact that there is a new world, that it’s already been launched in Jesus’ resurrection, and that all God’s people will be given new bodies to share in it, is basic to everything he has said.” *** How does that help you grasp that Easter is “our defining story” as Christians?

Living Lord Jesus, you walked into the darkest reality we face—into death itself—and came back, fully alive and victorious. Keep me on course to end this earthly life secure in the faith of Paul and the first Christians. Amen.

GPS Insights

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at Leawood's modern worship services, as well as at the West and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.

Easter has come and gone this year. Easter is a busy day for anyone helping with church services. I play bass in one of the church bands, so I’m in that group—I woke up at 5:15 AM on Sunday morning and played for three services. I just got a new fitness tracker, and it actually reprimanded me for my poor sleep habit and (I’m quoting here) “extremely stressful day,” noting that I was probably grumpy and tired. (I felt very judged by my fitness tracker, but that’s a story for another time.)

Even for people not helping lead the services, though, Easter can be busy. There’s a church service, there’s usually family time (and the modern political landscape can turn conversation at family gatherings into a minefield), and a big meal that needs to be cooked and served. It’s easy to think of Easter as an event because it can be busy for us and there are a lot of other logistics we need to worry about that day. And I’m saying this as someone who was mildly relieved when Easter the event was over, and I could work on making my fitness tracker less mad at me.

So, I have a proposal. I think the best time to think about Easter is actually right after Easter. Easter the event can distract us from Easter the idea, but it’s an idea that deserves our attention. I think we’re all familiar with the Easter story, and pastor Adam did a great job laying out what that means for us today, but it’s easy to make the Easter message a part of the Sunday activities and not a part of our lives the next few weeks. It’s one that’s so familiar to most of us that it’s hard to look at it with fresh eyes and a mind open to the new possibilities it presents for us now. If that sounds good to you, now is the time to start thinking about Easter.

As Paul lays out in today’s passage, the resurrection is not only central, but foundational to our faith. I wish I had something really insightful to say about that, but the reality is, that’s going to be meaningful in many different ways for different people. It might be a message of hope for those facing unimaginable struggles, or it might be a call to action for some who have grown too comfortable in their faith, or it might be a challenge of faith for someone just starting their faith journey. I can’t give one thing to take away from such a profound story.

The important thing is to look at—honestly look at—the Easter story and think about what it means to you now and in the year to come. It’s our reaction to that story that really gives us the best idea of where we are with our faith—where we’re doing well, where we’re struggling, and where our faith can help. There are a lot of directions I could have gone in talking about this passage, but I think the most meaningful one for you will be the one you discover for yourself on reflection.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Wright, N. T., Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 209). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
** NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (p. 10084). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
*** Wright, N. T., Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 204-205). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition. (Later, Paul’s friend Luke wrote about the resurrected Jesus’s “flesh and bones”—cf. Luke 24:36-49).