April 21

Acts 10:34-43

1 Corinthians 15:20-28

Imagine what would happen if I forced my way into the flight deck of an aircraft, sat myself down in the pilot’s seat and announced that I was taking control, that I would fly the plane myself. Yet people do that sort of thing all the time with their lives. They say that they must be in control, but have they read the manufacturers manual? Have they undergone the training devised for the position? Do they have the authorization for taking control? In Jesus, we see someone who flew the aircraft of his life with God’s full authorization. On the other hand, we see people everywhere flying with fake papers of authorization. They insist that they must be in control and live it for their own self-centred advantage. This is what is called sin – appropriating the authority for themselves, usurping God’s position; and sin leads to destruction, death, plane crash. The world is designed to run in God’s way of reality, goodness, peace, justice and compassion – love. Self-centred, control-hungry living is not true to our God-given specifications. Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, Pilate and the Roman soldiers, like people everywhere, brought matters under their own control and killed the one who knew how to fly the plane properly. However, in raising him from the dead so that he lives, not just under the limited conditions of mortal life, but now under the conditions of eternal life, God endorsed his life as the true kind of life for all people.  If Adam represents sinful, time-bound, mortal life we can say, “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive”, that is, in the way that God meant people to be alive.  The human, self-centred, control-hungry, sinful life that put Jesus on the cross was shown to be a dead end. In the resurrection, God opened up the true way of life for all, a life lived in rich, warm relationship with God, respectful and compassionate relationship with other people, caring and concerned relationship with the rest of creation and with a sense of personal value and confidence based on God’s gracious acceptance and love.

  • Give examples of ways in which people insist on living their lives for their own self-centred advantage.
  • If sin is defined as wresting control of life away from God and appropriating it for ourselves, how does this affect your view of sin?
  • What was the troublesome situation that confronted the religious/national leaders and the Roman governor over which they sought to exercise their control when Jesus was put to death?
  • How does 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 link the resurrection of Jesus with the ultimate aim of seeing all things brought under God’s control?