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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
I look for the resurrection of the dead.

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1 Corinthians 15:12–19

From the Confessions: The Nicene Creed

“I look for the resurrection of the dead.”

Pulling It Together

The confession of resurrection is as important as that of the divinity of Christ or of creation or of any other item in our creed. Without resurrection, the rest of the creed falls apart. No wonder it is attacked. We confess the resurrection of Christ, saying in the second article, “and the third day He rose again.” Now we are adding that we believe in our own resurrection. We must believe in our own resurrection or we nullify the resurrection of our Lord. Paul is logical when he says that if the dead are not raised, then even Christ is not raised. Luther helps us look at it in another logical but spiritual way, saying that because we are the Body of Christ and Christ the Head, one may not be raised without the other. If the Head is raised, so goes the Body, and vice versa. “If we were not going to rise from the dead, it would follow that Christ also had not risen from the dead. But since Christ is risen from the dead, as we preach and believe, it follows that we must also rise from the dead” (Luther’s Works, vol. 58, p 103).

Therefore, just as in all else, it also follows that Jesus rose from the dead for our sake. He did not rise from the dead for his own sake but so that we might be raised from the dead. He came down from heaven to earth for our sake, became incarnate for our sake, suffered for our sake, was crucified and died and was buried for our sake, and was resurrected for our sake. All these things he did for us and for our salvation.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving me the hope of resurrection from the dead. Amen.

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