1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1 Brothers and sisters, I want to call your attention to the good news that I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand. 2 You are being saved through it if you hold on to the message I preached to you, unless somehow you believed it for nothing. 3I passed on to you as most important what I also received: Christ died for our sins in line with the scriptures, 4 he was buried, and he rose on the third day in line with the scriptures. 5 He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve, 6 and then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once—most of them are still alive to this day, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me, as if I was born at the wrong time. 9 I’m the least important of the apostles. I don’t deserve to be called an apostle, because I harassed God’s church. 10 I am what I am by God’s grace, and God’s grace hasn’t been for nothing. In fact, I have worked harder than all the others—that is, it wasn’t me but the grace of God that is with me. 11 So then, whether you heard the message from me or them, this is what we preach and this is what you have believed.
As I read this text on the cusp of Easter what jumps out at me is Paul’s comment: “I am what I am by God’s grace, and God’s grace hasn’t been for nothing.” God’s grace, especially as it comes to its glorious climactic expression in his raising Jesus from the dead, is about transformation – new creation!
God didn’t raise Jesus from the dead to “make a difference” in your life. On the contrary, God raised Jesus from the dead to make a different world, a different you, a different future. Yes, “God’s grace hasn’t been for nothing.”
And that makes me think of my favorite resurrection songs, U2’s great “Window in the Skies.” I posted it earlier this Monday at this site as an Easter Anthem with some of my interpretative comment (refer to that post if interested in that comment). I repost the You Tube video with lyrics here today as commentary on the words of Paul about the resurrection and the different person into which it transformed Paul. The refrain of “Window in the Skies,” “Oh, can’t you see what love has done” is, I suggest, U2’s expression of that same reality. Enjoy!