“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-22
To understand and appreciate the importance of today’s teaching, we’ll have to go back to the beginning, specifically, the fall of man.
Genesis 2:16-17 reveals the instruction of the Lord to the first man shortly before He made Eve. He said:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Well, it’s no news that the man and woman didn’t keep this instruction. They did the exact thing God asked them not to. And as such, death was introduced.
If only they had known that the effect of their actions would filter its way into every man. Well, almost every man.
Men and women of several generations came into this world with their fate sealed – death dwelling within. But God had a plan to save man, not an afterthought as a result of man’s action, but one planned before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 2:10).
His plan was to introduce a new man. This new man was to give rise to a new kind of man, one free from the bondage of sin and death.
Whatever the plan is, for there to be a new man, it must involve two things. Firstly, it must involve him being a man (yet not from the seed of another man). It must also involve God because only God could save man (Jonah 2:9).
Thankfully, the God-Man Jesus emerged! God came into this world as a man in the person of Jesus. His conception and birth was immaculate, void of the corruption of the first man.
His coming into the world was definite. He proclaimed it himself saying:
“… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
However, for eternal life to be a reality, death must be defeated.
Hence, the necessity for His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus died and rose for this reason.
His resurrection from the dead eternally proves that death has been defeated. Unlike the resurrection of Lazarus where he died afterwards, Jesus died never to die again. This is our reality!
This is what our opening scripture emphasizes. Jesus was man enough to die for us. Jesus was God enough to save us. Death has been defeated!