Key Verse: “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
—I Corinthians 15:22
I Corinthians 15:1-11,20-22
AN ALL-IMPORTANT truth brought to remembrance when studying the Key Verse of our lesson is that, due to Adam’s disobedience, the penalty of death placed upon him has passed down to the entire human race. The wording of the first part of this scripture from the Revised Version emphasizes this fact, and reads, “As all in Adam die.” A further study of God’s Word reveals that since Adam was originally perfect, it would take a perfect man to balance the scales of justice, and provide a means of redemption for Adam and his posterity.—Rom. 5:12,18,19; I Tim. 2:5,6
We read concerning Jesus that he was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (Heb. 7:26) Through his miraculous conception, he was not born into the world as a condemned sinner, yet he was of Adamic human stock, “made of a woman.” (Luke 1:30-35; Gal. 4:4) He “who knew no sin” remained “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (II Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:8; Matt. 27:33-37) However, Jesus’ death was not the end of the lesson. He was then raised from the dead by the power of God. “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God.—Rom. 8:34
The 24th chapter of Luke provides details concerning the resurrection of Jesus, and various appearances by him to those whom he had ministered to during his life. The account states that he appeared to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. After this the risen Lord encountered others, such as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who were unsure and perplexed about the report that he had indeed risen from the grave. (Luke 24:13-32) He shared with them many important lessons. The account says, “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”—vs. 27
In another verse of our lesson, Paul says, “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (I Cor. 15:20) There is an important truth to be considered when we read that the dead “sleep” in the grave. Even Jesus “slept” in death for parts of three days, then rose again. (Luke 18:33) To regard death as a sleep is the proper thought in light of the many Scriptural promises which point to a time when an “awakening” from death will take place. Such a viewpoint strengthens our faith in God, and fortifies our hope for the dead. The last part of our Key Verse tells us: “in Christ shall all be made alive.” These words provide “good news” concerning the promise of a full resurrection and restoration to perfect human life for all mankind who obey from the heart the righteous laws of Messiah’s kingdom.
In God’s plan, Jesus was to be “the firstborn from the dead.” (Col. 1:18) Although the Scriptures tell of others who had previously been awakened from death by the power of God, they all died again. Christ was the first to experience a resurrection in the full and permanent sense. He was “raised from the dead,” Paul says, and “dieth no more.” (Rom. 6:9) What a wonderful hope of a future life is provided through the death of our Redeemer and the demonstration of God’s power in the resurrection of his “only begotten Son.”