1 Cor. 15:20-28 BETWEEN 2 EASTERS


Theologian Erich Sauer once wrote , “The present age is Easter time. It begins with the resurrection of the Redeemer and ends with the resurrection of the redeemed. Between lies the spiritual resurrection of those called into life through Christ. So we live between two Easters, and in the power of the first Easter we go to meet the last Easter.”


A)   That is such a great quote – We live between 2 Easters / waiting for the Resurrection. Of the REDEEMED!!!


B)    Ch. 15 has been called the great Resurrection Chapter !!!!


C)    We began looking at this last week – first 19 verses where Paul establishes that the Resurrection is the cornerstone of the GOODNEWS

1)                 It is the very thing that we rest our faith upon


A)    He supported this w/ the testimony of eyewitnesses, giving a list of those who saw Jesus alive after his death

1)                 And then Paul described what life would be like if the Resurrection didn’t take place


Beginning w/ V. 20, we now come to a section where the apostle's thoughts sweep across the centuries to declare the ultimate effects in history of the resurrection of Jesus  Christ /               Focus for tonight !!!!  read v. 20-28


A)   Paul goes from the Beg. Of time to the end of time in explaining the worldwide effects as well as the effects to the individual believer of Christ Resurrection






1st -  The Resurrection of Jesus is the Guarantee of the bodily Resurrection of all of those who believe – because our Resurrection is tied w/ His!!!  V.20-22

20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. ( DIED ) 21  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.


The key to that passage is the twice repeated word, "first fruits."

A)   Paul is referring here to the ritual that was given to Israel in the 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus. 


B)   That on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which followed the Passover, the day after the Sabbath, there would be the offering of the first fruits of the barley harvest.


C)   The Jews were commanded to bring a sheaf of grain, the first of the harvest, to the priest, who would wave it before the Lord.

1)                 The full HARVEST could not be made until the FIRST FRUITS were offered


D) Here in we see the typology of the Lord -  because the day that the first fruit were to be offered is  the exact morning of our Lord's resurrection


A)   There, in the feasts of Israel, we have a prediction that the resurrection of Jesus would be the first fruits of the harvest.



So The significance of the first fruits, was not only that they preceded the harvest but that they were a first installment of the harvest.

A)    The fact that Christ was the first fruits therefore indicates that something else, namely the harvest of the rest of the crop, is to follow





B)    In other words, Christ’s resurrection is not in isolation from ours /  

     Because He rose from the dead –

1)                           we who believe Can look forward to that hope because our Resurrection is tied w/ His


A)    Just Like our Death is tied w/ Adam – In Adam – we all die / Adam sinned – sinned entered world – death through sin. / Spiritual & Physical

1)                 In Fact we are in the Process of dying right now – moment we are born we begin to die


A)    Now we can cover up the outward appearances for a while, the inward decay cannot be stopped  we are all headed for death.

1)               There was an epitaph written on a tombstone once that said:

Remember, friend, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, soon you will be,
Prepare for death, and follow me.

Someone had written underneath it:

To follow you I'm not content,
Until I know which way you went.


But the truth of the matter is that in Adam all die – CERTAIN

A)   You do not have to do anything; you do not have to work at it, /Let time take its course and it will happen,


B) Now, with equal certainty, here is the good news. It is not up to you to

     be resurrected, but it will happen.

1)                           Just as surely as death is at work in us in Adam, so life is at work in us in Christ, if we are "in Christ."


A)   That if is the Key - Some use text all die / all will live to suggest

     UNIVERSALISM – All saved – fallen man & Angels too.

1)                 Universal sin is true – Linked to Adam in his sin – sinful nature /


A)    but to suggest that this verse is teaching universal salvation means you would have to ignore a general rule of Biblical Interpretation

1)                 Called analogia Scriptura. 


A)   That principle teaches that no passage of Scripture, properly interpreted, will contradict any other passage. 

1)                   The Scriptures clearly teach that only those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ are redeemed & have the Hope of salvation.


So because Christ is the first fruits of the Resurrection harvest – we too can look froward to w/ Certainty that we will be Resurrected.

A)   When will it happen? Paul answers that great question in Verse 23:


23  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.


The order of Resurrection that the scriptures give us is basically as follows

A) Christ was first -   first fruits – first born -  meaning order as well as



B)   Now in Luke 16 Jesus tells the story of the rich man & Lazarus. /  both die go to Hades /  Hades is divided into 2 sections by a great gulf

1)                 Righteous & the unrighteous DEAD -  ABE BOSSOM


A)   Father Abraham – send Lazarus. Give me a drink ……..


D) This is where everyone who died went prior to the Resurrection of Christ

1)                           After Christ died we are told in Ephesians 4 that Christ descended into the lower parts of the earth – SET THE CAPTIVES FREE


E) That was those who were in Abe’s Bosom -   Ascended on high & took

     them w/ Him.

1)                           So that is the first order

Now what about those who have died in Christ since the Resurrection ?

A)   Paul said that to be absent from this body is to be present w/ the Lord – so they are there already


B) What About – 1 Thessalonians 4 Dead in Christ will rise first ?

1)                           Time space continuum – God’s time – All Now !!! Those in heaven are living in that perspective


A)   V. 23 at His coming is talking Rapture – The Dead in Christ shall rise first – they already have – we who are alive & remain…. Caught up ….


C) V. 24 –   Then comes the end,  ( 2nd coming 1000 yrs Millennium ) then

     we read of another Resurrection

1)                           This is the Resurrection of the unrighteous Dead – those who didn’t know the Lord who are raised to stand before the Lord in JUDGEMENT


A)   Known as the great white throne Judgment – Rev. 20



So in v. 24 Paul begins to describe that end times scenario when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

25  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

26  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.


Now this is presented in the future tense – but the truth of the matter is that Christ reigns now – He is in control – Satan allowed to roam

A)   God waits – so that more people can be saved


B)   So what Paul is describing is the outward manifestation of the REIGN OF CHRIST – displayed in the world .


C)   Time where even death is eliminated –


D)   Death during the Mill. – Isaiah 65:20 20  "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old,


E)    Basically saying that there is going to be death – but it is going to be radically different


Isaiah. Other descriptions : Christ Reign all things subdued :

The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them.  Also the cow and the bear will graze; their young will lie down together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox.  And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.  They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain. (Isaiah 11:6-9)


“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 65:25)


The changes in the animal world will be paralleled by changes in the earth and the solar system:

(Isaiah 24:23) 23  Then the LORD Almighty will mount his throne on Mount Zion. He will rule gloriously in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people. There will be such glory that the brightness of the sun and moon will seem to fade away.


The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the Lord binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted. (Isaiah 30:26)






Now at the end of this 1000 yrs reign we know that Satan is let lose for a season – deceives some ( those born )

A)   Great white throne judgment – Satan & all those w/ him are cast into the Lake of Fire.


B)   At the end of all that – Paul describes something interesting that takes place then in v. 27,28

 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.

Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.


From the time of His incarnation until the time when He presents the kingdom to the Father, Christ is in the role of a Servant, fulfilling His divine task as assigned by His Father.


But when that final work is accomplished, He will assume His former, full, glorious place in the perfect harmony of the Trinity.


C)   Christ came to earth w/ a Divine mission – Redeem man & the earth back

     to God . 

1)                           Man had forfeited the title deed to the earth into the hands of Satan.


A)   Jesus bought it back w/ His life / REDEEMED BY HIS BLOOD

1)                 He is yet to claim His ownership - 



When He was here Jesus humbled Himself – left His place on the throne & concealed his glory -  came to earth

A)   While here he lived in total submission to the Father / only did that which would please the Father


B)   After the Resurrection – He ascended on High took His place at the right hand of the Father – where – He waits until His enemies become His footstool


C)   At the end of the Millennium after that final Rebellion is over & Satan & those who are w/ him are cast into the Lake of fire

1)                 Christ will Present that which He has redeemed to the Father


A)   Christ will continue to reign, because His reign is eternal (Rev. 11:15),

1)                 but He will reign with the Father in trinitarian glory, subject to the  

    Trinity in that way eternally designed for Him


A)   We will understand how that all works when we get there



So here Paul is describing how all things are going to be in subjection to Christ – Because He is the RISEN ONE .


As we move into communion turn to Hebrews 2

5  For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

6  But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him?

7  You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.

8       You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him


The writer of Hebrews is explaining how – this world & all that is in it was given into the care of man – but man blew – Sinned – forfeited – DEATH


So He says in the latter part of v. 8  But now we do not yet see all things put under him.  

A)   Man is not in Control – Chaos in animal kingdom / Violence & wars in the world / Aids – Satan is having a HEY DAY RIGHT NOW .


B) We don’t see all things put under Man – but v.9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.


We see Him who came to REDEEM – RECONCILE / 

We see the cross where He purchased our Salvation –


Now here is the thing that I think the Lord would have us to consider tonight in coming before the table

A)   We can read about the RAPTURE / 2ND COMING & THE MILLENIUM – when Christ sets up His rule


B)    That time when we will no longer have to endure Politicians who are not honest & drug dealers / Perverts / kids being shot / & stuff like Aids

1)                 We look forward to that time – but we don’t see it now


A)    Instead we see all the garbage – we see the effects of a world falling deeper & deeper into DARKNESS

1)                 And if we dwell on where we are headed it can get really discouraging



1)                 CROSS – THAT reminds us that of what He did


A)    We need to see the empty tomb that reminds us of who He is & the Promise He has made – coming again to set this right


B)   That because He is alive we have that hope that He is bringing many sons to glory !!!!!!