A People to be Pitied?

The Apostle Paul is concluding v.19 his discourse on the facts of Christ’s resurrection. He makes his point for those who deny the deity and resurrection of Christ are:

If in Christ…: This assumes the reader (hearer probably in ancient times) is a part of the Body of Christ

We have hope in this life only…: This is all there is once dead we are dust, food for the maggots. What have you gained by following the teachings of Jesus without the hope of resurrection in Christ? 

A people most to be pitied: What hope do we really have if it is all only for the present and not eternal? Paul answers the question of what hope is there apart form a resurrected Christ with a resounding, NOTHING.  If all our hope our FAITH is in a man who died on a cross for naught, we are truly miserable beings. We have gained nothing, no advantage (peace, comfort, hope) going through life’s trials and tribulations. 

But in fact Christ…: But the reality is Christ has risen from the dead. The hope of true believers everywhere is simple we serve a risen savior. He alone beat down deaths door, paid the penalty for my sins and won the victory (1 Corinthians 15:50-58

The firstfruits of those…: Christ resurrection was just the first to be raised in an incorruptible and immortal body. His resurrection paved the way for all members of the body of Christ to be so resurrected some day.

Pity Not Them Who Rise With Christ

APRIL 15, 2001 / Resource by John Piper / Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:12–20

This passage of Scripture describes five sad consequences if Christ is not risen from the dead and is not alive today as the only Lord of the universe with all authority in heaven and on earth. What I would like to do this morning is show you these five consequences, and then take just one of them and use it to unfold a very powerful and often-neglected incentive for us to believe in Jesus Christ as the living Lord and the greatest treasure of your life – beyond the grave and forever.

My hope and prayer is that many of you – for your everlasting good – will be won over by him this morning. Not me, but him, because he is alive and here and able to persuade you that he is true and the greatest treasure in the universe.

The text begins in verse 12 by pointing out that in the community in Corinth, some were saying, “There is no resurrection of the dead.” Period. Nobody rises from the dead. So in verse 13 Paul points out the obvious: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised.” And then he begins the list of five consequences if this is true – if Christ is not raised from the dead.

Now let’s be sure before we see these, that we know what Paul really believes. Verse 20: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” In other words, this apostle of Jesus is persuaded that Jesus did rise from the dead, and that his resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection – that’s what “first fruits from the dead” means. The first fruits were the first pickings of the harvest which showed that there is a harvest – this resurrection signifies the certainty of our resurrection. The way Paul put it in Romans 8:11 is: “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” If Christ is raised, then those who belong to Christ will be raised with him in everlasting life and ever-increasing joy… (Continued at source link above)

Are we a People to be Pitied?



Image Source

Christ is risen! Hallelujah

Christ is risen! Hallelujah!

Risen our victorious Head;

Sing His praises; Hallelujah!

Christ is risen from the dead.

Gratefully our hearts adore Him,

As His light once more appears;

Bowing down in joy before Him,

Rising up from griefs and tears.


Christ is risen: Hallelujah!

Risen our victorious Head;

Sing His praises; Hallelujah!

Christ is risen from the dead.


Christ is risen! All the sadness

Of His earthly life is o’er;

Through the open gates of gladness

He returns to life once more;

Death and hell before Him bending,

He doth rise the Victor now,

Angels on His steps attending,

Glory round His wounded brow.


Christ is risen! Henceforth never

Death nor hell shall us enthrall;

We are Christ’s, in Him forever

We have triumphed over all;

All the doubting and dejection

Of our trembling hearts have ceased,

’Tis His day of resurrection;

Let us rise and keep the feast.


Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible – Unabridged – Also known as JamiesonFausset and Brown


If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

If our hopes in Christ were limited to this life only, we should be, of all men, most robe pitied-namely, because, while others live unmolested, we are exposed to every trial, and after all are doomed to disappointment in our cherished hope; for our salvation, even of the soul (not merely of the body), hangs on Christ’s resurrection,without which His death would not avail us (Ephesians 1:19-201 Peter 1:3). The pagan are “without hope” (Ephesians 2:121 Thessalonians 4:13). We should be even worse, for we should be also without present enjoyment (1 Corinthians 4:9). The immortality of the soul apart from the body is not in Scripture made our hope, but in connection with the raised body.

Verse 20

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Now – as the case really is.

And become. Omitted in ‘Aleph (‘) A B Delta G f g, Vulgate.

The first-fruits – the earliest and most costly, and so consecrated to God; the earnest that the whole resurrection harvest will follow, so that our faith is not vain, nor our hope limited to this life. An appropriate image, for this letter was written about the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7): the day after the Passover Sabbath was that for offering else first-fruits (Leviticus 23:10-11); the same was the day of Christ’s resurrection (Colossians 1:18Revelation 1:5).