Bible passage: 1 Corinthians 15:50–58 (ESVUK)
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.
Thinking about the new creation and prayer
We thought yesterday about 1 Corinthians 15. Paul continues in this passage speaking about the day when we will be resurrected.
- How does this passage describe what happens when Jesus returns? How does it make you feel?
- Think: one way to think about the new creation more may be to read literature that seeks to help us appreciate the new creation. While not describing the new creation itself, the authors help us to imagine what it may be like there. Read this description of the world Aslan rules (a character like Jesus, ruling a place like the new creation) in “The Last Battle” by CS Lewis. This is the final book in the Narnia series, where Aslan takes the children to their true “home”, which Narnia, the place they visited, was just a shadow of. How does this quote help you appreciate what the new creation will be like?
“The Eagle is right,” said the Lord Digory. “The Narnia you’re thinking of . . . was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world. You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.” . . . The new [Narnia] was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if you ever get there, you will know what I mean. It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He . . . cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.”
- Pray: use 1 Corinthians 15:54–57 to praise God that because of the cross, death no longer defeats us, but is our gateway through which we get to the new creation. 1 Corinthians 1:7–8 says that God will sustain us to the end as we wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray God would sustain you until the day death is swallowed up in victory.
Imagine yourself with the characters in the scene above. What do you enjoy most about the description?
Try reading a chapter of a CS Lewis book: you could pick chapters 14–16 of 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' or Chapter 16 of 'The Last Battle'. How do these chapters help you think about the new creation?