Not Once-Upon-A-Time, but Once-and-For-All


January 7

Not Once-Upon-A-Time, but Once-and-For-All ~~ Martin B. Copenhaver

I for this life only  we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. From 1 Corinthians 15:19-28

As the Apostle Paul reflected, on the death and resurrection of Jesus, it became clear that this was not a once-upon-a-time story. Rather, he recognized that this was a once-and-for-all reality with implications that stretch farther than the eye can see and are larger than he mind can grasp fully. Jesus’ resurrection is such a transformative event that it is as if the world now rotates on a different axis.

Paul understood from the start that the resurrection was not simply about what happened to Jesus; it is about what happens to all who trust in Jesus, and about what can happen to all who claim his story as their own. The resurrection is not simply the assurance that Jesus was victorious over death; it is also a promise that we can share in that victory with him. The resurrection does not mean only that Jesus was triumphant over evil; it also assures us that evil will not be ultimately triumphant in our own lives.

Jesus is the “first fruits,” the initial harvest, of God’s grace. But that is not the end of it. Not by a long shot. The resurrection of Jesus ushers in and reveals a promise offered to all. Saint Jean Vianney said of Easter: “Today one grave is open, and from it ahs rise a sun which will never be obscured, which will never set, a sun which bestows new life.”

PRAYER: God, we thank you that the resurrection of Jesus is not merely a story to be heard, but also a reality in which we can share. Amen.

God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 8-9.