“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” — I Cor 15.22
Jesus spoke of a great day coming when all the dead will rise. Some will rise to be eternally condemned, and some will rise to eternal life. (John 5.29)
To launch from St. Paul’s illustration, when you drop a seed in the ground, it will bloom into something far greater. A sliver-sized lettuce seed, so tiny that we lose it between our fingers, is resurrected as lettuce. Whatever dies and is planted in the ground will live again.
Sin is a sadistic serial killer. When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, they unleashed a deadly maniac who has added to its list of victims all humanity up until now. And, you’re next on the list, or very nearly next, and will likely suffer the sadistic torture of this monster many times before the relief of the final kill shot. Such is the power of sin.
The coming resurrection of the dead is God’s final victory over Satan’s attempts to warp the world through this malicious killer. Our story, so tragic now, is headed for a great stroke of comedy — turns out, death was pulling the wool over our eyes the whole time! We thought it to be permanent, but God said, “Not so fast.”
But God won the victory over death, and salvation for His children, in a shocking, unexpected way. For, if it had been expected, the rulers of the world “would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor 2.8)
God’s way to save His people from their sins and defeat death was to put the gloriously promising career of His beloved Son on a dead end road, literally. “He was cut off from the land of the living.” (Is. 53.8) The crucifixion of Christ declares that victory is only possible on a road that will most absolutely and with complete certainly kill you before you reach your destination. “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12.25)
Brothers and sisters, we serve a powerful God who sometimes drops an unseen path from heaven to circle safely around a deadly foe. “To God the Lord belong escapes from death.” (Ps. 68.20) But if you want to see the power and wisdom of God on full throttle, look to Good Friday and the mangled, lifeless, bleeding corpse of the Son of God, cut off in the prime of His life. By human standards, senseless, a disaster of the highest magnitude. By God’s standards, wisdom.
Look upon Christ, believe that He is God, and be washed of your sins! But also consider that we too must walk as Christ walked (I Jn. 2.6) — down the path with the big “dead end” sign. Because Easter Sunday shows us what God does with dead ends. Alleluia!