Empty Tomb Nazareth Israel Nazareth Village Jesus

Jesus, the First Fruit

Today is Good Friday. If we have received Jesus, then today we celebrate the work Jesus accomplished through the cross – His death and burial. By these, we received forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation with God, and restoration to God’s original desire: we are children of God.

Now we anticipate our rejoicing on Sunday, the day Jesus rose from His grave and became the first resurrected man.

The First Fruit

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (New Living Translation)

There have been many people that God raised from the dead. Just in the Gospels, we find “The widow of Nain’s son1,” “Jairus’ daughter2,” “Lazarus of Bethany3,” “Tabitha4,” “Eutychus5,” and, of course, Jesus6. However, Jesus did not just return to life as the others did. Jesus was the first “fruit” of the resurrection7.

Everyone that came back to life died again, but not Jesus; Jesus was resurrected by God (Acts 2:24). This act by God was a certification that Christ Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted. And, since Jesus never sinned, His dead body did not experience “corruption” – decay.

Resurrection Is Unique

Resurrection, for us, is the act by God of allowing the death of a person’s physical body, the body we inherited from Adam. And then that person being raised in a glorified body, one that will never die, will always be filled by the Holy Spirit and be acceptable to enter heaven. Our resurrected body will be:

(1) Glorified, acceptable to be in the presence of God in heaven8.
(2) Incorruptible and powerful9
(3) Similar to the glorified body of Jesus10
(4) Immortal11

Good News

“20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.1 Corinthians 15:20

Image by TC Perch from Pixabay

You may like: Suddenly Jesus

[1]: Luke 7:11–17 ESV
[2]: Luke 8:40–56 ESV
[3]: John 11 ESV)
[4]: Acts 9:36–43 ESV
[5]: Acts 20:7–12 ESV
[6]: Mark 16:1–9 ESV
[7]: 1 Corinthians 15:20
[8]: 1 Corinthians 15:44 NLT
[9]: 1 Corinthians 15:54 ESV
[10]: Philippians 3:21 ESV
[11]: Revelation 21:4 ESV

red and orange apple fruit

Always Fruitful

fruit tree on a riverbank
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

My wife told me about an elderly woman that suffered from advanced dementia. She had no short-term memory, but what she had was Jesus. Whenever anyone spoke to her, she’d ask, “Do you know Jesus?” That was all that remained of this child of God. Still, until she passed, she remained fruitful.

We may be sick, tired, disabled, elderly, or dying, but if Jesus lives in us and we are in Him, we will never stop being fruitful for God’s kingdom. He causes people to see in us His life. People see fruit in us that we may not even know there. If we are God’s fruit tree, we will never stop producing. I’d call that good news!

Good Intentions Are Worse Than No Intentions

David, an acquaintance of Rick, my brother-in-law, asked him if he’d help bring some Alpacas back from Wisconsin. Rick said, “Sure, I’ll help.” David said, “We need to be on the road at 4 AM to give us enough time to get there, load the Alpacas, and get back the same day.” Rick said, ‘ok.'” And that’s what Rick did. David picked him up at 4 AM, and they got back late that night. That’s called putting your words into action and doing what you say you’ll do.

Which would you say is better, for a child who says they won’t do something, and then they do it, or a child who says they will do something and then they don’t? (Mt. 21:28-32, paraphrase) I never actually had the chance to try this out as a child; saying “no” to either parent was not an option. I guess I could have tried it as they would still have had my sister. 😉 😉

There’s a fantastic event recorded in Matthew 21:19 (AMP) that applies to the point I’m attempting to make. Here’s the passage:

And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it [seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, ‘Never again shall fruit grow on you!’ And the fig tree withered up at once.

I wonder how many days I’ve walked through without remembering that being a Christian is more than a demographic category. It’s fearful to appear to belong to Christ and have no fruit to show upon His inspection. Good intentions are like the fruitless fig tree; they lie to all who see them.

Within all the noise of the world around me, Father I pray for Your help to keep my heart set on you and to do the right things that produce fruit for our kingdom. I say “ours” because, amazingly, through Christ’s sacrifice I’ve been made a joint heir with Jesus (Rom 8:17) and in His Name I pray. Amen.

Photo by Foad Memariaan on Unsplash

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: