12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?1 Corinthians 15:12-29
Have you ever watched someone lay bricks? The first row of bricks are vital to the success of the whole project. This row of bricks creates the framework and foundation for all that follows. If this row is not aligned and set in place properly, the project stands a good chance of collapsing or at least, being unsturdy and reliable. The same can be said about our faith.
Jesus spoke of the importance of having a reliable foundation when he told the story of a man building his house upon the sand. (See Matthew 7:24-27) Here Jesus is talking about putting the teachings of Jesus into practice to create a foundation for our lives.
Paul speaks of foundations in the passage for today. The foundation which Paul is referring to is for our faith. We see here that our foundation for our faith is the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of the dead. Paul indicates that without our affirming the resurrection, we have no foundation to our faith.
If you have ever said the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed, you will recall that both of them state a belief in Jesus’s resurrection and in the resurrection of the dead. The early church clearly felt this was an important aspect of the beliefs of Christians. A belief in the resurrection affirms the Lord’s authority over all things, even death.
Applying this foundational truth to our lives is what gives us hope in what can feel like a hopeless situation. Death requires us to face the reality that we are not in control. There is nothing we can do to prevent death or undo death. Yet by believing in Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of all, we acknowledge that there is someone who does have control and authority—God. Knowing this truth allows us to face situations where we have no control since we affirm that God does. We have faith in God.