News for the week of Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
April 20: But Now … Victory
By Alec Cort
4/15/2014
senior pastor, Bethel, Greenbrier

Focal Passage: I Corinthians 15:20-28

The resurrection of Jesus is not fiction, it’s historic. After He was raised He appeared to Peter, James, other apostles, and 500 believers. Then He also appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. In I Corinthians 15 Paul is teaching Corinthian Christians, who were struggling to believe the resurrection, that the entirety of our faith rests on this one thing. In John 10:18 Jesus speaks of His life when He says, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” We celebrate the cross as the instrument upon which Jesus shed His blood for our sins (Hebrews 9:22). But even more significant is that it is a precursor to His proof that He has power over death for Himself and also for all who will trust in Him.

Have you ever had to correct someone else’s mistakes? Recently, I cleaned up a big mess made by my 4-year-old. I did this as an act of compassion knowing that she would not be able to clean it by herself. She could not wipe the sticky spills up properly. She doesn’t know how to fold and put everything in its place or fix what was broken. She had the ability to make the mess but lacks the ability to set it all back right. In I Corinthians 15:20-23 Paul paints a similar picture of Adam and Jesus. Jesus stepped in to fix what Adam broke. Having no power over sin and death, Adam was unable to clean up the mess he created when he disobeyed God.

Jesus does have that power. His death and resurrection are an act of compassion to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He cleans up our mess. None of the Old Testament prophets or heroes were able to do this because like Adam, they had not the power to fix the damage sin caused. Jesus was the first to display power over death and give us the hope that death is, in fact, reversible.

What is the healthiest kind of household? What is the best form of government? It is when parents/leaders have the best interest of their children/people at heart and guide them into all truth with justice, mercy, and humility (Micah 6:8). Imagine the rule of a benevolent King who loves His people, is never self-serving and always knows exactly what choice is right for them. Imagine a Father who always sets the right example for His children. His rule would be better than America at her finest. His parenting would be irrefutable. I am thankful for my parents who loved me and raised me to the best of their ability. I am glad we live in a democracy and I thank God for the men and women who gave their lives for my freedom and that of my children. But all parents make mistakes and any government run by men, though they be well meaning, will inevitably suffer from greed, corruption, and the desire for power.

In I Corinthians 15:24-28 Paul describes how things will be when our God our “all in all” rules the world. Jesus is the benevolent King who rules perfectly. He is the Parent who never makes mistakes. His resurrection cleans up our mess and paves the way for perfect government. His power over sin and death will restore what Eden was intended to be. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Corinthians 13:12).

— Cort is senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Greenbrier.

 

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