Date: Thursday, December 12
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:12-21
Verse: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
Several weeks ago, Apple released a new operating system for their mobile devices, called iOS7. When downloaded it changed everything that could be seen, and lots that could not be seen, about the way iPhones and iPads work. Several people I know had the operating before it was officially released – Apple generates a special kind of geek – because they had downloaded an advanced copy. While not fully functional, it gave them an idea of what they could expect when the final copy became available, and they had a jump-start on the rest of the Apple world.
In the agrarian culture of the Bible, they didn’t know about advanced copies of operating systems, but they did know about first fruits. They could predict, based on an initial harvest, what the rest of the harvest season would be like. If the first fruits were abundant and juicy, it was reasonable to assume the rest of the harvest would be the same. So when the Apostle Paul calls Jesus’ resurrection the “first fruits of those who have died,” he is saying we can expect resurrection for us going forward, which is more than the theological fine point it appears.
As Christians we have an advanced copy of the world as it will be when the Kingdom of God comes on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ resurrection we see God’s power over death, so when we attend funerals for those whom we love, we can proclaim they will live again. The hope beyond hopelessness we talked about yesterday, is possible because Jesus’ resurrection is the sign of the defeat of evil. We know about the new heaven and the new earth to come (see Revelation 21), and how God will one day make everything right. In many ways, this is our operating system upgrade. It changes everything, not only about our future, but how we live today.
Prayer: Teach me, Lord Jesus, to live as one who will be resurrected one day. Amen.
Action: Make the needed upgrades to your phone, tablet, computer, apps, programs, etc. Note how those upgrades change things.
Respond: Are you excited when your operating system is updated, or are you frustrated because you can no longer find things? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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