The Resurrection| – Overcoming What Death?
1 Corinthians 15:25, “For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” The word “till” does not imply a point of termination any more than the statement, “the law and the prophets were until John” (Luke 16:16) imply that the law ended at John. The law went beyond John yet the law was till John. John would announce the last days of the Jewish law and economy had begun. Those “last days” would terminate upon the return of Jesus, bringing the law, its economy and its religion to an end.
This is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 11:26 and the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper was not ending at Jesus’ return, but rather initiated the fulfillment of relationship with the Father so that Jesus would partake of the supper with us in a new way (Matthew 26:30) as the Father’s kingdom would be restored (Luke 21:31; Revelation 11:15; 12:10). The enemies put under the feet of Jesus were spiritual in nature and like those that Jesus referred to in Luke 10;19, “Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.” This spiritual rule of Satan was the topic of Ephesians 6:12, as Paul said, “against the rulers of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The Devil ruled the age in which he could accuse (Ephesians 2:2). The “present evil world (age)”was coming to an end as the kingdom of God was about to be completed (Galatians 1:4). The nature of the enemies which are put down upon the return of Christ are no different than those mentioned in Luke 10:19 in which Jesus said, “Behold I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and all the power of the enemy.” The power over the enemy was manifest during the earthly ministry of Jesus but was not completed until Jerusalem fell of which time the kingdom stood completed (Luke 21:31). As the law was winding down Satan was losing his ability to accuse and knew that he had a “short time” at the time John wrote (Revelation 12:10-12). Paul promised the Romans, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).
The word “bruised” is suntribo which means to crush or break. The word is used in the breaking of the alabaster box which contents were poured out on Jesus (Mark 14:3). The prophecy of Genesis 3:15 and the bruising of the head of the serpent through the seed of the woman is the subject of Paul’s statement. Satan had “a short time” when John wrote! His end was “at hand” (Revelation 22:10). Though the results of Satan remain in the world, as do Hitler’s Nazi agenda, Satan and his miraculous power came to an end. Satan through sin was the cause of spiritual death in the garden and that death was about to be destroyed. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).
The Resurrection| Is Physical Death the Enemy of the Child of God?
Physical death has never been the enemy of the faithful. This same Paul would say, “for me to depart and be with Christ is far better (Philippians 1:23). The death enemy is the one referred to in 2 Timothy 1:10, “But now is made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” The death considered here is spiritual death. Spiritual death as well as Spiritual life were both proleptic in the New Testament. Death was being destroyed by the gospel as life was being revealed. The death that severed relationship with God through sin was being overcome by Christ.
Jesus proclaimed, “He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:26) and “if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death”(John 8:51). As spiritual death was being destroyed a new spiritual rule was being established. These scriptures comport with Jesus own words in the parable of the ten servants. Jesus spake this parable because he was “nigh Jerusalem” (Luke 19:11). Luke 19:27 says, “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” As the gospel went into all the world, Jesus would then rule through his word. The Lord promised the church at Thyatira that they would “rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:27). This rule was a spiritual rule that took place as the word of God was completed even as Jeremiah was told that he would be set over the nations through the word that God had delivered to him (Jeremiah 1:9,10).
More to come in this important study of the Resurrection, so stay tuned!