In Him (Christ)
“In Him (Christ)” Part 1: Text - 1 Cor. 15-20-23
“For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22 CSB)”
Yesterday, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave and today we want to consider some of the blessings of being in Him.
To understand Paul’s argument here about being in Christ, I think he’s got an OT passage in his mind, one that keeps informing the argument of 1 Cor. 15.
What does Paul have in mind when he says that we are in Christ?
He's hinted at it back in verse 4, “And that Christ was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”
Here is a test for you, according to which Scripture(s) was Christ (Messiah) to be raised on the third day?
There are several possible answers. Bible scholars are pretty unified on tracing a word’s meaning to follow its usage back to when it was first used (similar to tracing the origin of the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Northern Minnesota where it began as a trickle flowing out of Lake Itasca).
The Old Testament is constantly pointing to Christ in many different ways and events. And we also find a pattern of God doing significant things on the third day. Redemptive things. Revelatory things. And even resurrection things.
So then, which third day was it?
- Where Jesus compares the Son of Man to Jonah as being swallowed up -Matt. 12:40; “
- The regathering of Israel from exile is sometimes described as a resurrection (Ezekiel 37:11-14) and Hosea gives us the time frame on the third day - Hosea 6:2;
- The saving of Jonah – Jon. 2:2
- The healing of Hezekiah – 2 Kings 5:20
- The sparing of Isaac – Genesis 22:4ff
But I believe Jesus gives us the greatest hint for which third day that Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 15, when He says in John 12:43-44, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and it dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus here is taking us all the way back (picture Lake Itasca) to the very first “third day” in Genesis 1.11-13:
Speaking of the third day God says, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed each according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. (notice the repetition here) And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
And these third day plants they are the first fruits of creation on the third day. Look at what is really set forth here – they each reproduce according to its kind.
How do they reproduce according to their kind? Well, they all have fruit containing seeds. And so the seed, the next generation, is contained within them, where the fruit goes the seed goes. Thus Paul is saying that with Adam and Christ they are the first fruits of two very different sorts of plants, very different crops. Adam is the fruit of death and all of his seed in him dies. Christ is the fruit of life and He is the first fruits of the new creation. The first fruits of creation on the third day and on the third day of the new creation the first fruits of Christ will also be raised.
Friends, regardless of what’s happening in the world, it can never change the fact, that we have been raised with Christ because we are in Him!
In the evening devotion today we will see some other encouraging benefits of being in Christ.
Prayer: Colossians 2:6–7
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
May these verses be your prayer for today!