But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul reveals that there are successive stages of the resurrection:
1. Jesus Christ was the firstfruits.
2. Some of the Old Testament saints were resurrected immediately following Christ's resurrection. (Matthew 27:50-53: "And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus' resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.")
3. Those of us who belong to Him will be resurrected at His coming. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.")
4. A second resurrection of all unbelievers who will be judged and condemned. (John 5:28-29: "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out--those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned." Revelations 20:12-13: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.")
There is a process of resurrection that began with the Resurrection of Christ, continues with His Second Coming (including the resurrection of believers), and will conclude with the resurrection of all unbelievers.
Questions to Ponder:If someone asked, could you explain the stages of resurrection? Read more in the referenced passages for a greater understanding.