But now is Christ risen from the dead (1 Cor 15:20a)
This is the wonderful message that is true the whole year round, but one that we especially remember at Easter. The chapter that contains this verse focuses on the resurrection, but this particular verse is in a short dialogue about the folly of those that claim there is no resurrection. In these verses, Paul makes clear that the belief in the resurrection is central to the Christian gospel; it supports everything we say and do. Without the resurrection, Christ’s work on the cross was wasted. Furthermore, he goes on to recognise that it is the basis of his preaching. A preacher’s right to speak is based on the truth of the resurrection. If there is no resurrection there is no hope and the preacher has nothing worthwhile to say! But Christ is risen!
And because Christ is raised, the faith or confidence or trust that we have in God is not in vain. If Christ’s death had been the end, then there would have been no worthwhile sacrifice for sins. We would still be held guilty and would have no hope of avoiding God’s judgement. But now we know that God accepted the price that Christ paid for our sins, and His righteous judgment has been satisfied, without compromise. Similarly, there would be no new life for us to receive from Christ. He would still be dead and would have no life to give us. But He is raised and has a life now that can never end. This eternal life He shares with us so that we too will live eternally. And lastly, we can have confidence that we also will be raised the same manner that Christ was raised. We will have a new body, that will never decay and we will always be with our Lord.