Studies in First Corinthians – XXVII
1 Corinthians 15: 35-38
The purpose for writing this chapter was to address the question we have in verse twelve: “How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” Paul has answered this question with overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resulting implications. However, there are still some people who are not satisfied. Paul anticipates their questions:
“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” (15:35).
From the outside looking in, it is easy for us to look down on the skeptic, but his question is a natural one. We all have witnessed death and decay. We have witnessed the dramatic change that takes place in a body void of life and personality. How ARE the dead raised up?
Paul’s response doesn’t seem very polite, “Thou fool” (15:36). He has no doubt about this question. He gives a simple illustration of a death as an example (15:36-38).
But if the dead are raised up, if a man must, in the flesh, see God, if there is an appointment with Him awaiting every one of us, then our preparation for that day is important. -Redpath
The illustration Paul gives is that of a simple grain of wheat. He invites us to give it a proper burial in the ground. It is dead. But soon you will see, pushing through the black soil, a green shoot rising, full of life. By some amazing miracle, a new plant has come out of the dead grain that you put into the ground.
“Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
That is Paul’s answer. The mystery of the resurrection of the body is no greater than that. If you say that because you cannot understand, you will not believe in the resurrection of the body, then logically you have to say that you don’t believe in harvest because you don’t understand the process.
You can only understand the miracle of each if you put God behind them. All the harvest fields of the world are witness to the work of God who takes death, brings it to life, gives it a new body, and produces the harvest. As Paul says, it is no more difficult to believe in the resurrection than it is to believe in the harvest.
If you are looking for hope beyond this life, look to the fields. Observe how He brings life out of death. Notice them, the fields of witness.