1 Cor 15:12-34

Sometimes our personal experience leads us to re-evaluate the things we believe and the result can be a trade off that has significant impact even though we had not realised the significance our our actions at first. This is what Paul addresses in his message to the Corinthian Church. It would appear that some have concluded, through their own experience, that the resurrection of the body is necessarily important. Don't misunderstand the Word of God here; there will be times when our experience raises questions, and we do need to spend time and energy on working out what that question might mean for us in real life now, but the answer is not to easily trade off things that are central to faith in Christ as Lord. The answer is found in what it is that we first believed and to move forward from that point. Paul emphasises that the evidence is that Christ Jesus was raised from the dead and that this was witnessed by many many people. He is the 'first fruits' of all who have fallen asleep, that is, who have died (vs 20).

In other words, Paul is reminding the church that what is known and understood by many witnesses has implications now. There is much that happens as a consequence of what Christ Jesus did in his death and in his being raised. It is all part of God's redemptive plan for Creation so when individuals find their particular experience at a certain time in life is different to what is described in the eye witness accounts of the Faith of Jesus there are two alternatives. The first is to seek God as revealed in the Bible and through the Spirit in our lives, holding true to what we have been told, or modify what we believe every time our personal experience does not match the great truths of God. The latter opens us up to growth and understanding as we wrestle with the curve balls that get thrown at us and as we seek understanding. The former, leads us down a path of discarding truth that is central to the great pains of God and sadly, even more confusion as we trade away what in reality, is what has been done. Christ was raised, and because of this, we too, will experience resurrection and an eternity with God. Trade that away, and ongoing experience of faith simply becomes what we construct based on our experience of the day, and that changes like the wind. God will sustain his people; he will sustain you and see you through the challenging difficult times, not just for this life, but also for life eternal in the new heaven and new earth. We discard the reality of our eternal resurrected body at our peril, because then we start discarding other things that are part of God's way of sustaining us in difficult times. And all we have left is our personal experience which is based on changing times and feelings and hurts. Christ has indeed, been raised from the dead. So seek him in the times of questioning, and trust that he will, in time answer your deepest questions.

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