Tuesday, 17 March 2015
But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 1 Corinthians 15:23
In this verse, Paul speaks of “order” concerning resurrection, not specifically “timing.” The timing of the future events is dealt with elsewhere and must be inferred from a careful reading of the Bible. Concerning order, however, specific detail is revealed in this verse. He just noted that, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” He follows this with “But each one in his own order.” This order then explains more fully the concept of “in Christ” from the preceding verse.
The word for “order” is used only here in the New Testament and it indicates a “band” or a “troop.” The stalk of grain at the harvest of the firstfruits was emblematic of the entire harvest. Christ was raised and those who are “in” Him will be raised in the same manner with the same eternal likeness (see 1 Corinthians 15:49). This is the “order” then. As Vincent’s Word Studies notes concerning this –
“The reference is not to time or merit, but simply to the fact that each occupies his own place in the economy of resurrection, which is one great process in several acts. Band after band rises. First Christ, then Christians. The same idea appears in the first-fruits and the harvest.”
Life application: If you are a part of Christ’s harvest field, then you will be presented before God, just as He was. As with the Firstfruits, so with the rest of the harvest!
O God! It is so comforting to know that the Firstfruits of the harvest are representative of the entire harvest. Just as Christ was raised to life, so will I and all who have called on Him be raised to life as well! I stand ready at His coming, a stalk approved as of the finest wheat – not because I am so great, but because of the Lord who planted, watered, and tended to me. Thank You for Christ my Lord – the Lord of the Harvest! Amen.