Today, I am reading and commenting on 1 Corinthians 15-16.
In today’s passage Paul addresses the issue of resurrection from the dead. Paul tells the Corinthians, and through them, us, that the core of the Gospel is that Jesus died, was buried, and then rose from the dead on the third day. He immediately provides a list of witnesses to His resurrection. Paul makes it clear that he did not believe in some figurative or symbolic resurrection. Paul believed in the literal resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. Further, this belief was the basis of his belief that we would also be resurrected from the dead. If Jesus was not raised from the dead the whole of the Gospel is nothing but a fabric of lies. You cannot build a useful moral code on falsehood.
I do not think it is possible to make too much of the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus’ death shows us the path to victoriously exercising the power of God in our lives. Jesus’ resurrection shows us that God’s power will be victorious, even after what seems like the ultimate defeat. Jesus’ willingness to accept death led to His resurrection. In the same way we must be willing to accept death in order to be resurrected. Paul’s discussion about how our resurrected bodies will be different from our earthly bodies expounds on this point. An acorn which is preserved as an acorn will never grow into an oak tree. In the same way, if we seek to keep our earthly bodies we cannot be encased in the bodies which God intends for us.