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Day 45

More than a Metaphor

by Laurie Schlaepfer

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-28

My dad died last year.

I hate death. You’d think we human beings would be okay with death by now. After all, we’re told “it’s perfectly natural,” the “circle of life.” But I’ve become more convinced than ever of the unnaturalness of death. Death invaded God’s good creation as an intruder, and we know in our hearts we were never meant for it.

Since my dad’s death, the resurrection of Christ has become more personally significant to me than ever before. I have believed in His resurrection since I was a child. But now in my grief I see it as a beacon of hope on a dark night.

It’s a sad fact that many churches today have done away with belief in Christ’s physical resurrection, instead making it mere metaphor. One pastor said, “the story is symbolic of the undying spirit of humanity.” Another suggested, “The resurrection myth teaches merely that we can be ‘resurrected’ again and again in our lives.”

Apparently some folks in the church in Corinth were also denying the possibility of physical resurrection. Paul writes to firmly remind them that the physical resurrection of Jesus is at the core of the gospel message that he and all the apostles had preached from day one. And the resurrection is at the core of our hope. On that first Easter Sunday morning, life invaded death and conquered it. Jesus’ resurrection is the guarantee for the future resurrection of all who belong to Him. And more: It is a peek at the renewal of all creation, heaven and earth.

If there was no physical resurrection, then as Paul puts it, “your faith is futile,” literally a waste of time. If our hope in Christ is only for this life, what kind of “hope” is that?

But Christ indeed was raised! And when He returns, those who are in Him will be raised as well. That includes my dad.

It’s by looking back at the resurrection of Christ that I can look to the future with outrageous hope. I’ll see my dad again — more alive, more physical, that he ever was. Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

Question to Consider

Am I placing my confident hope in the resurrection and re-creation the Bible promises? If you have doubts, try an experiment this week: Try living as if you believed the Bible’s resurrection promises and see what happens!


Lord, thank You for the promise of resurrection and renewal, not just metaphorically, but literally! I believe… help my unbelief!