The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth that “your faith has not been in vain.” A group of heretics had slipped into the congregation and claimed that only the spiritual was good and anything physical was bad. Therefore, Christ had not really risen in a physical body. While this sounded pious it is not Biblical.
Faith is in the True Resurrection
This heresy tripped Paul’s theological trigger finger and he fired away at his critics. 1 Corinthians 15:12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
For Christ to be the First Fruit there Must be a Bodily Resurrection
We have seen how the Jewish Feasts foreshadow Christ’s work on the cross. Jesus became the Passover Lamb and died on Passover. He removed our sins just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictured how the “leaven” of sin must be removed. Then as the priest were offering the sheaf of new grain at the temple, Jesus rose from the death on the Feast of First Fruits.
As Paul explained above, if Jesus had not risen bodily, we have no hope that we will be raised. That would mean our faith is useless and we are a pitiful lot. There is much riding on a true physical resurrection of Jesus.
And the feast of first fruits again foreshadows that Christ rose from the dead to act as a pledge of our future resurrection. To hear how your faith has not been in vain, listen here: