The True and the False
For reading & meditation: 2 Timothy 1
" ... our Savior, Christ Jesus ... has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light ..." (v. 10)
Several of the world's religions, when faced with the perplexing issue of Christ's return from the dead, explain it in terms of reincarnation. A proponent of one of the Eastern religions says: "Christ's resurrection was really a reincarnation - another soul in another body." I once heard a Christian minister declare that Paul's reference to Christ as the firstborn from among the dead (Col. 1:18) was a clear allusion to reincarnation. There is no doubt that our Lord came from a virgin womb and a virgin tomb, but the body that emerged from the sepulchre was not fashioned in the tomb as it had been when He was an infant in Mary's womb. The body was the same one as before. Others try to explain Christ's resurrection as living on in the recollection of others. "To live in the minds and hearts of those we love," goes a well-known saying often heard at funerals, "is not to die." It has to be acknowledged that some live so vibrantly that it is hard to think of them as dead even after one has attended their funeral. But when we talk about Christ's resurrection, we are not saying He survives in our memories. Recollection is not resurrection. The body which died upon the cross and was laid in the cool tomb on the evening of the first Good Friday was miraculously infused with life once again early in the morning of the first Easter Day. It is as literal and as factual as that. This - nothing less and nothing else - is what we mean by the resurrection of our Lord from the dead.
Father, I am so thankful that in bringing Your Son back to life You brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. I know this to be true for in You there cannot be such a thing as death. Life is so sure - as sure as You are. Amen.
For further study:
Ephesians 1; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:35; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15
1. What did Paul say was of first importance?
2. What does this mean for those who have experienced resurrection life?