“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor.15:20).
Now this is the word both historic and true,
Concerning the gospel I preached unto you,
By which you are saved and in which you remain
Unless, after preaching, your faith is in vain.
Because I delivered to you first of all,
That which I received as the primary call;
Christ died for our sins as the Scriptures have said,
And that He was buried and rose from the dead.
And that He was seen in His new risen state,
By Peter and those who had known Him of late;
By those He had chosen to be by His side,
And carry the news to the world far and wide.
Now if Christ is preached that He rose from the tomb,
How is it? you say, and by this you presume
That no resurrection has yet entered in?
If that is the case you are still in your sin.
But now is Christ risen, our Saviour and Chief;
The firstfruits of those who have died in belief;
For since by one sin came the sentence it bore,
So through resurrection came life evermore.
For just as in Adam all die, it is true,
In Christ we are quickened, created anew;
But someone will ask, How do mortals revive?
And what are the bodies of those who survive?
Now God gives a body to each as He wills,
The seed to its own when it dies in the hills;
All flesh is distinguished, not paired in the least;
One kind is of human, another of beast.
Celestial bodies and those of the earth,
Have differing glories imparted at birth;
The glory inherent in sun or in star,
Is seen in the heavens, albeit afar.
So also is that which is raised from the dead,
The body is sown in corruption inbred;
The natural body returns to the dust,
The spiritual body is born out of trust.
And as we inherit the image of man,
Who fell into sin when the ages began,
So shall we inherit the image of One,
Who purchased salvation when sin was undone.
A truth has been hidden but now is declared,
Concerning the future of which we have shared;
We shall not be sleeping, but we shall be changed:
A wonderful hope which the Lord has arranged.
The trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised,
Enclosed in new bodies divinely appraised;
And we shall be changed from this temporal state,
And put on the bodies we keenly await.
And then shall that saying be brought into light,
Unknown to the sceptics who dwell in the night:
O Death and O Hades, wherein is thy sting?
The triumph of Christ is the anthem we sing.
Written by Maurice Dyson
Posted with permission from Herald of Hope Vol 63 No.6
( Photographer) M. E. Head