On the death of Death (or, how things were supposed to be).

This is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for a class comparing some accounts of early Christian teaching.

4) The way things are at the moment is not how they were meant to be, nor will creation remain in this state. God is putting the world to rights (1 Cor. 15:20-6, 54-8; Acts 3:21). Paul paints a beautiful picture of Jesus’ resurrection, and it’s power for the rest of creation, in his first letter to the Corinthians. Here we see the resurrection described as the “firstfruits” of the rest of humanity that has “fallen asleep” (15:20-6). Death may have entered creation through Adam, but through Jesus life bursts forth in victory for all of creation: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive,” (15:22). Then, after he has defeated all worldly dominions, authorities and powers, and has put all the enemies of God under his feet, he will deliver to death its final blow and hand the kingdom over to his Father (15:24-6). We see this thought echoed later in the letter when the “perishable [is] clothed with the imperishable,” and Death itself is taunted in the grave: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (15:54-5). Peter expresses a similar thought in Acts when he says Christ will not return until God is ready to “restore everything,” (3:21).

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