8 April 20211 Corinthians 15:20-28
For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. (vs 21-22)
In response to those who were denying the centrality of Christ’s Resurrection, St Paul writes a complex and passionate response to the Church in Corinth. He affirms the physical resurrection of Jesus, and supports his arguments by drawing parallels between the first man, Adam, and Jesus, the second Adam. He passionately asserts the communal impact of sin brought through Adam, and the communal influence of Christ’s resurrection, "so all will be made alive in Christ.’’ (15:22).
Perhaps Paul’s use of the word 'all' influenced the Wesley brothers who wrote and preached about Christ’s actions being 'for all’. They were convinced that through Christ’s death and resurrection, all could be made alive in Christ. Here is a story that has helped me to gain an insight into how one person’s grace-filled action can reach out in sacrificial love to others.
A US marine recruit arrived at Paris Island, South Carolina for training that was renowned for being very tough. In the barracks to which this young marine was assigned, people could be extremely mean. They decided to scare him by dropping a disarmed hand grenade on the floor and to pretend it was about to go off. It was thrown, and the warning yelled, “It’s a live grenade, it’s a live grenade! It is about to explode!’’ They expected the recruit to run, hysterical, and perhaps throw himself out of the window. Instead he fell on the grenade, hugged it to his stomach, and shouted, ‘’Get out. Run. You will be killed if you don’t.” The other marines froze in stillness and shame. They realised that the one they had scorned was the one ready to lay down his life for them.
- Can you think of other stories that illustrate Christ’s self-giving love for others?
- In this passage how important is Paul’s use of the word ‘all’?