Preacher: Alan Cameron
Verses: 2 Corinthians 4:18-5:10
A contemporary writer has described death as a “conspiracy of silence... the universal repression of our day muffled up in illusion”. Part of the problem is confusion. People are not sure what happens when we die, so in the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet “death doth make cowards of us all.”
In stark contrast to this, Paul moves life after death from the realm of conjecture and confusion to established fact. Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of our resurrection to follow in time. For Paul this is no pious myth, escapist superstition, but historical fact attested to by hundreds of eye-witnesses including Paul himself. Granted the passage before us is a difficult one, its interpretation disputed: is Paul dealing with the ‘intermediate state’ of believers upon death or the “Parousia’, the great day when Christ returns? However, the difference is a matter of degree about which we can afford to be agnostic.