1 Corinthians 15:21-22
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.…
1. All which our Lord has is ours, if we are indeed His. As Man, He received gifts, that He might give them to men. As Man, He received the Holy Spirit, that He might again dwell in man, and clothe us with the holiness which we lost in Adam. For our sakes He sanctified Himself, that we also might be sanctified by the truth. His shame is our glory; His blood our ransom; His wounded side our hiding-place from our own sins and Satan's wrath; His death our life. And what, then, should His life be? What but the sealing to us of all which He had wrought for us? What but the bursting of the bars of our prison-house, the opening of the kingdom of heaven?
2. All this is to us "in Christ." "In Christ shall all be made alive." We shall live then, not only as having our souls restored to our bodies, and souls and bodies living on in the presence of Almighty God. There is a higher blessedness yet in store, viz., to live on "in Christ." For that implies Christ's living on in us. For we can only dwell in God by His dwelling in us. To dwell in God is not to dwell on God only. He takes us out of our state of nature, in which we were, fallen, estranged, in a far country, out of and away from Him and takes us up into Himself.
3. This is the great difference between us and the brute creation. They are not capable of the presence of God. He made them; He extendeth His providence over them. Yet their spirit goeth downwards to the earth, not upwards to the God who gave it. This is also the great difference between us and those who lived under the Old Testament. Closer is the nearness of God to those who will receive Him, than when He walked with Adam in Paradise, or seemed to sit with Abraham, or to speak to Moses face to face, or when the angel in whom His presence was, wrestled with Jacob, or when One, in the form of a Son of Man, was with the three children in the fire; yea, nearer yet, than when, in the flesh, His disciples did eat and drink with Him. For all this nearness was still outward only. Such nearness had Judas also, who kissed Him. Such nearness shall they plead to whom He shall say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."
4. The Christian's nearness He hath told, "We will come unto Him, and make our abode with Him," in holiness, peace, bliss, cleansing love. It is not a presence to be seen, heard, felt by our bodily senses; yet nearer still, because when the bodily senses fail the inward eye sees a light brighter than all earthly joy; the inward ear bears His voice; the inmost soul feels the thrill of His touch; the "heart of hearts" tastes the sweetness of the love of the presence of its Lord and its God. The Everlasting Son dwelleth not as He doth in the material heavens, nor as He sanctified this house of God, nor as He did in the tabernacle, but united with the soul, and, in substance, dwelling in her, as He did personally in the man Christ Jesus.
5. This then, as it is the special mystery of the gospel, so is it of the Resurrection — to be "in Christ." This is our justification, sanctification, redemption, in Him; this our hope for those who are departed before us, that they are "fallen asleep in Him"; are dead, but in Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16); this is our hope in the day of judgment, that we "may be found in Him"; this our perfecting (Colossians 1:28), this our endless life (ver. 22), this is the consummation of all things (Ephesians 1:10). Through Christ's resurrection we have a new principle of life in us. The Spirit, which dwelt in Him "without measure," He has imparted to us His members, that it may sanctify us, spiritualise our very bodies here, keep in us the true life, if we forfeit it not, and so, through that Spirit, shall our dust again be quickened, and we be raised at the last day to life (Romans 8:9).
6. The Spirit not only "cometh upon those who are Christ's, as of old, but is within them, (Romans 8:9, 10). And if the Spirit abide in us, how should not the body, so lived in, have life? (Romans 8:11). The resurrection, then, of our Lord is not only a pledge of our own; it is our own, if we be His. His body is a pattern of what is in store for ours, since we, if His, are a part of it. Conclusion: Since these things are so, we may well stand in awe of our very selves and of the majesty bestowed upon our frail nature (chap. 1 Corinthians 3:16). Grieve not" away "the Holy Spirit of God." For if the evil spirit find the dwelling-place whence he was cast out "empty," "he will take to himself seven spirits more wicked than himself, and will re-enter and dwell there." Let us then, as we would hope at the last day to "rise to life," and not to "shame and everlasting contempt," seek, and watch, and pray, to rise with our risen Lord now.
(E. B. Pusey, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.