Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-28.
When the first crop of the season ripens, it's an exciting day for a farmer. The farmer has diligently prepared the fields, sown the seeds, and tended the seedlings. If the firstfruits are good, then the farmer can have confidence that the rest of the harvest will be good as well.
Because we know death is not the end, we know our love in this life is not in vain.
When He rose from the dead, Jesus became the firstfruits of a much greater harvest. His body had been sown like a seed, but it was then raised new, glorious, and indestructible. What is true of the firstfruits will be true of all who trust in the name of Jesus: One day, all the dead in Christ will be raised to new life in Him.
The Corinthian Christians believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead, but they weren't so sure about their own future resurrection. So, Paul reminds them that there are plenty of witnesses who saw Jesus with their own eyes (see vv. 3-8)—and they can therefore find confidence in the promise of their own resurrection (see vv. 20-23).
Brothers and sisters, if you know Jesus, you will be raised to new and glorious life, just like our Lord. Because of this hope, we can live without crippling fear of death and instead walk in freedom because we know death is not the end. And because we know death is not the end, we know our love in this life is not in vain—it is preparing us for our future home in heaven. Indeed, love will be the culture of Christ's heavenly city. In the meantime, our works of love in this life serve to bless others and, Lord willing, usher them into Christ's Kingdom.
With the promise of our own resurrection, we can see that today is the beginning of the life for which we have always longed. Because we know this life is the dress rehearsal for the one to come, we can let love and joy reign in our hearts, for with each passing day, we are one day closer to glory with Christ.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice that has bought me a place with You in heaven for eternity. May I live confidently in this life because I know my hope is sure. In this freedom, may I love others well. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Healthy Living in a Sick World, Part 20: LISTEN NOW