1 Corinthians 15: The Resurrection of Christ

 

Empty Tomb Smirke

 

“The Empty Tomb”

Smirke

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER FIFTEEN

1 Brothers, let me remind you now of what

The gospel really is I preached to you,

Which you received and take your stand on. 2 By

 

This gospel you are saved, if you hold fast

Onto the word I preached to you. If not,

You have believed in vain. 3 For what I have

 

Received I passed on to you as of first

Import: that Christ died for our sins just as

The Scriptures said he would, 4 that he was buried,

 

That he was raised on the third day just as

The Scriptures said he would, 5 and that he showed

Himself to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

 

6 After that, he was seen by more than five

Hundred brothers at the same time, and most

Of them are still alive, although some have

 

Fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James,

And then to all of the apostles, and

8 Then last of all I saw him too, long after

 

The others, as though I had almost been

Untimely born. 9 Because I am the least

Worthy of the apostles and I don’t

 

Even deserve to be called an apostle,

For I abused the church of God, 10 but by

The grace of God I am what I am, and

 

His grace to me was not without effect.

No, I worked harder than them all−yet not

I, but the grace of God that was with me.

 

11 It makes no difference who worked hardest, I

Or they, for the important thing is we

Preached the good news to you, and you believed.

 

12 But tell me this: Since you believe what we

Have preached, that Christ was resurrected, why

Are some of you declaring that the dead

 

Do not come back to life? 13 For if there is

No resurrection of the dead, then not

Even Christ has been raised. 14 If Christ has not

 

Been raised, our preaching is in vain, as is

Your faith; 15 and we are then false witnesses

As to the Lord, for we have testified

 

As to the Lord that he has raised up Christ

Out of the dead. But if in fact the dead

Cannot be raised, then he did not raise Christ.

 

16 For if the dead cannot be raised, then Christ

Is dead yet, 17 and if Christ has not been raised,

Your faith is futile; you’re still in your sins.

 

18 Then all the Christians who have died are lost.

19 If only for this life we have our hope

In Christ, we are most miserable than all,

 

20 But Christ indeed did rise out of the dead,

The firstfruits of the ones who fell asleep.

21 For death came in the world because of what

 

One man did, and the resurrection of

The dead came through one man too. 22 For as in

Adam all die, in Christ all will be made

 

Alive– 23 but each one in his own turn: Christ

Rose first, and then, when he returns, those who

Belong to him. 24 Then comes the end, when he’ll

 

Deliver up to Father God the kingdom

After he has destroyed all rule and all

Authority and power. 25 For he must

 

Reign ‘til he has put all his enemies

Under his feet, 26 and the last enemy

To be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put

 

Everything underneath his feet.” Now when

It says that “everything” is under him,

It’s plain that this does not include the Lord

 

Himself, who did put all things under Christ.

28 When he has done this, then the Son himself

Will be beneath the one who put all things

 

Under him, so God may be all in all.

29 Now if there is no resurrection, what

Will those do who are baptized for the dead?

 

For if the dead aren’t raised at all, why are

Some people baptized for them? 30 As for us,

Why do we jeopardize ourselves each hour?

 

31 I die each day−I mean that, brothers−just

As surely as I glory over you

In Jesus Christ our Lord. 32 If I fought beasts

 

In Ephesus for merely human reasons,

What have I gained? And if the dead are not

Raised, “Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow

 

We die.” 33 Don’t be misled: “Bad company

Corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your

Right mind, and quit your sinning; for there are

 

Some who are ignorant of God−I say

This to your shame. 35 But someone may ask, “How

Are the dead raised? What kind of bodies will

 

They have?” 36 How foolish! What you plant does not

Spring up to life unless it dies. 37 When you

Plant, you don’t plant the body that will be,

 

But just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of

Another plant. 38 But God gives it a body

Just as he has determined, and each kind

 

Of seed he gives a body of its own.

39 All flesh is not the same: there is one kind

Of flesh for men, while animals and birds

 

And fish each have a different kind of flesh.

40 There are celestial bodies and there are

Earthly bodies; the splendor of celestial

 

Bodies is one kind, and the splendor of

The earthly bodies is another. 41 For

The glory of the sun is one kind, and

 

The glory of the moon is yet another,

And that of stars another; and each star

Differs from other stars in glory. 42 So

 

Will it be with the resurrection of

The dead. The body that is planted will

Die and decay, and when it’s raised it will

 

Never die; 43 it is planted in dishonor,

And it is raised in glory; it is planted

In weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it

 

Is planted as a fleshly body, and

It’s raised a body that is spiritual.

If there’s a fleshly body, there will be

 

A body that is spiritual, too. 45 So

It’s written that “the first man Adam was

Made as a living soul”; and the last Adam,

 

A spirit that gave life. 46 The spiritual

Did not come first, instead, the fleshly was

The first, and after that the spiritual.

 

47 The first man was made out of earth, a man

Of dust; the second man came out of heaven.

48 As was the earthly man, so are those who

 

Are of the earth; and as the man from heaven

Is, so are those of heaven. 49 And just as

We’ve borne the image of the man of dust,

 

So also shall we bear the image of

The man from heaven. 50 I will tell you this,

Brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit

 

God’s kingdom, and the perishable won’t

Inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen,

And I’ll tell you a secret: We won’t all

 

Sleep, but we’ll all be changed– 52 like lightning, in

The twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

Because the trumpet will blast forth, the dead

Will be raised up imperishable, and

We will be changed, 53 because the perishable

Must clothe itself with the imperishable,

 

The mortal with an immortality.

                        54 And when the perishable has been clothed

With the imperishable, and the mortal

 

With immortality, then will the Scripture

At last come true which sets forth: “Death has been

Swallowed in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is

 

Your victory? O Death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin; the strength of sin

Is law. 57 But thanks be to the Lord! He gives

 

Us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers, stand firm, and let nothing

Move you, and always fully give yourselves

 

To God’s work, for you know the truth remains:

Your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

(Rendered in blank verse by Day Williams.)

Resurrection Caravaggio

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas

by Caravaggio, c. 1601-1602