What does it say?

The classic passage in the Bible on the resurrection of Jesus Christ is 1 Corinthians 15. Paul defends the historicity of the resurrection by listing eyewitnesses still alive at the time of his writing (15:1-11). Paul then defends the necessity of the resurrection, the very essence of our faith (15:12-34). Most Jews believed in a bodily resurrection, but most Greeks saw only the soul as immortal. Paul explains the fullness of the resurrection, physically, spiritually and eternally (15:35-50) for the understanding of both Jew and Gentile. Finally, he concludes in a glorious passage that sees the resurrection as the basis for the hope of all believers (15:51-58).

1 Corinthians 16 is a collection of practical matters. Paul is coordinating an offering for believers in Jerusalem going through a time of famine and persecution. He encourages the Corinthians to stand strong in their faith, gives them details about his future plans and concludes with a series of greetings.

What does it mean?

The Bible is true and absolute in its authority, yet our understanding is far from complete. This accounts for the many differences of ideas, preferences and interpretations regarding many issues such as biblical prophecy, church structure, modes of baptism and so many others. Central to the Christian faith, however, is the resurrection of Jesus Christ in bodily form from the grave on the third day. Without the resurrection, there is no Christian faith; there is no hope; there is no reality. While we can agree to disagree about many things, there is no room for compromise on such issues as biblical inspiration and authority, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the reality of his resurrection, his promise to come again and other core doctrines of our faith.

We might easily pass over passages such as 1 Corinthians 16 that mention names of individuals of which we know nothing. This is, however, a reminder that our faith is not merely a collection of ethereal concepts, but rather involves the real lives of real people like you and me.

How will I respond?

If I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I have put my faith in the finished work of his death, burial and resurrection. What are the practical, daily implications and applications of his death for me? What is one of those implications or applications and how will that affect my life today?