But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28-37)
In his death on the cross and resurrection, Jesus established a new pattern, a “firstfruit” that has changed our reality in the following ways:
1. Life is viewed from the perspective of eternity
2. Our character is more important than our circumstances
3. Our suffering in this life only makes the next life better
4. Nothing separates us from the love of God
5. We are moving toward a coming redemption
What does it mean that “the cross teaches us that the worst thing that ever happened in human history was also the best thing that ever happened”?
- How does God use our suffering to make us more mature?
- Why do you believe it is important to have an eternal perspective on suffering?
- What does it mean that Jesus was the “firstfruit”?
- How does Jesus’ death and resurrection establish a new pattern for the way we live?
- What does it mean that because of the cross, we know all bad things will turn to good?
Posted on Sun, March 13, 2016
by Brad Mardis filed under