Most people know about the “Love Chapter” of the Bible, but few people know about the “Resurrection Chapter.” 1 Corinthians 13 is the “Love Chapter,” but only two chapters later you will find what I like to call the “Resurrection Chapter.” Some parts of 1 Corinthians 15 may be familiar to you, especially if you frequently listen to or have sung some of the great choral works of the ages like Handel’s Messiah. But reading the entire chapter and following, from beginning to end, Paul’s theological exposition of Christ’s resurrection and its meaning for us is a very powerful, faith-forming experience. As a part of your Easter celebrations this year, consider sitting your family down and reading 1 Corinthians 15 to them out loud. It will take a few minutes, but it will have a dramatic impact on your celebrations and on your family’s life and faith.
You may also consider listening to Part 3 of Handel’s Messiah. Of the nine movements in Part 3, the first seven take their texts from 1 Corinthians 15: specifically 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. There are two great choruses and three arias, one of the most popular of which is “The Trumpet Shall Sound,” a setting of 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. If you don’t have access to a recording, you can find performances on YouTube. If you find a full version of the Messiah on YouTube, Part 3 will start around the 1:55 or 2:00 hour mark and begins with a text from Job 19:24-26, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.” Listening to this music is a great way to internalize these great Scripture passages of hope.
For a more detailed examination of the Bible passages set in Handel’s Messiah, see Text Study of Handel’s Messiah.
Surrexit Christus! (Christ is risen!) Surrexit vere! (He is risen indeed!)