2 Corinthians 4:14–15
14… He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
As we continue celebrating the season of Eastertide, it is fitting to continue to meditate on the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. In our passage today, Paul repeats one of his frequent maxims: He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus… The resurrection of the dead is our hope – not that we will die and be spirits in the sky; not that we will perish and lose all consciousness; but that even as Jesus rose from the dead, we too shall rise. In Paul’s words to the Philippians, Jesus will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body… (Phil 3:20). We live in sure and certain hope of the resurrection. This mortal body shall put on immortality; this corruptible body shall put on incorruption; this weak body shall put on strength. Alleluia!
What this means is that the trajectory of all history is to the resurrection. The resurrection is the consummation of history: the day when Christ shall return again in glory to judge both the living and the dead; the day when the dead shall arise from their graves – those who have done good in the fear of God and faith in Jesus Christ to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil in continuing to ignore or rebel against God to the resurrection of death. This will be the consummation of history as we know it, the gateway into glory.
Consequently, it is the resurrection of the dead and the glorification of God’s children that creation itself awaits. Even as all creation was plunged into death and decay through the rebellion of our first father Adam, so all creation will be renewed into life and glory through the obedience of the last Adam, our Lord Jesus. When we rise from the dead, when our bodies are made new, all creation will be liberated from its bondage to decay and share in our glorification.
What this means, therefore, is that all creation is ours. We shall inherit all things. The sun, moon, stars, and planets are ours; the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and streams are ours; the mountains and plains are ours; the forests, grassland, and deserts are ours; all creation is ours. “Blessed are the meek,” our Lord Jesus promises, “for they shall inherit the earth” (Mt 5:5). If you are in Christ, then you are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). Christ possesses all and promises to share it with His people. It is this hope that lies behind our text today. Listen again:
… He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes…
All things are for your sakes – all things: birds, beasts, fruit trees and all cedars, the honey bee and the crocus, the lily and the rose. All things are for your sakes. This is the promise of God to all those who believe in Jesus. We shall inherit the earth.
Now if all this is true – and through Christ’s resurrection it is – then what kind of people ought we to be? Ought we not to be the most content, the most thankful, the most grateful of all people? Ought we not to do all things without complaining or grumbling? Ought we not to be patient, knowing that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glories that shall be revealed in us? So Paul writes, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.” The fruit of the resurrection hope is abounding thankfulness.
So reminded that God has made us heirs of all things in order that we might abound in thanksgiving to His glory, let us confess that we are often unthankful, grumbling, and impatient. And, as you are able, let us kneel together as we confess our sin. We will have a time of silent confession followed by the corporate confession found in your bulletin.