The death, burial and resurrection of Christ are the pivotal events in world history; indeed, Paul writes that upon his generation the “fulfillment of the ages has come.” We know it to be a cosmically important event—the breaking step toward the renewal of all things, but what does it mean for us? Is it simply a security deposit on our individual salvation, a certified stamp on our ticket to heaven?
Paul would certainly take issue with such a stance—narrow, or shallow he might call it. Think broader! –he might say. Too often we equate Jesus’ work on the cross solely with salvation from something—judgment and Hell, namely. We neglect to remember we are also saved for something—to take part in God’s work here and now.
1 Corinthians 15: 54b-58, NIV:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[g]
55“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[h] 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
An ethic of resurrection is not an oxymoron! Jesus frees us not only from judgment and Hell but from the powers that be which enslaved us to this world, rendering us ignorant and impotent to God’s will. That has changed. Paul writes in v. 58 that because of Christ’s work on the cross we should stand firm and always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.Consider how the work of the cross has freed you for service in God’s kingdom and let us all give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord!