Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Look back on your actions and choices and you are sure to see a lot clearer than you did before you made them. Actions backfire and choices play out into life-altering decisions. Don’t you wish you could always look back to make your decisions?
I want to begin this series of articles exploring the Gospel at the end. I want to take advantage of hindsight, and examine a little of what God’s word says about the end. Hopefully this will help us better understand some of the elements and purposes of the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:22-26 (ESV)
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
I wonder what would happen if we started reading all of scripture with these questions in mind: What is the Good News here? What is God doing, and what is so great about it? I think those would be great questions to ask of these words from Paul because he is telling us about the end. What is God up to when this rock stops spinning? What is so great about it?
I grew up playing video games, so this may be more obvious to me than some, or perhaps I am completely off base, but it seems natural that the biggest boss, the greatest enemy, the most difficult challenge would come last. Nobody wants to play a video game where the hardest level with the toughest enemy comes first. And here we have Paul saying that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” All enemies, Paul says, must be defeated, but the last, the most difficult and destructive, will be Death.
And, that is good news. In fact, that is great news. And it tells us a lot about the Gospel, about the good news, about what God is doing in and planning for our world. The greatest enemy of God, humanity, and all of God’s good creation is Death. And, so, God is going to kill Death. What is the Good News here, at the end? We can be cured of Death, the disease that plagues us all.
And it all began with Christ, the “firstfruits,” coming out of His grave.