The Victory Over Death
“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom of God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).
“His resurrection is not a solitary occurrence affecting only Himself. It is the resurrection of the head of a new humanity and pledge, therefore, of the resurrection of all the dead… There is a marked suggestiveness in the term first fruits. It is taken from the ancient ceremony in Israel of waving the sheaf of first fruits of ripening grain before the Lord (Leviticus 23:9-11). The sheaf was at once the pledge and sample of the entire harvest; it was a part of the harvest to be gathered. Christ is the first fruits of all the sleeping saints in His resurrection. As certainly as He is risen, so certainly shall they rise, for He is the pledge and assured part of their resurrection” (Commentary on First Corinthians, Lipscomb, p.230).
By a man came death and sin, so it is only natural that it would take the antitype to reverse the effects of such condemnation. Notice Romans 5:12-21, especially as Paul writes, “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Adam opened the flood gates, but Jesus closes them. He is the divine reflex to sin.
Just as sin is abolished because of the sacrifice of Jesus, so is death itself. By conquering death, He paved the way for all the rest of us to follow Him. He faced death with steely determination because He knew it was only a bump in the road; a temporary, feigning defeat at the hands of Satan.