What does 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 really mean?

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 is about how through Jesus Christ’s resurrection, death is conquered for all humanity and in Him, all are made alive again.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.


Setting the Scene for 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

The scene in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 takes place in the garden tomb where Jesus was buried after his crucifixion. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome had come to the tomb early in the morning on the third day after Jesus’ death. They were filled with grief and were planning to anoint Jesus’ body with spices, as was the custom in Jewish burial practices.

As they approached the tomb, they were surprised to find the stone rolled away from the entrance. Inside, they encountered an angel who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead, just as he had promised. The women were filled with a mixture of fear and joy at this miraculous news. They were the first witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, a pivotal event in Christian faith that would change the course of history.

Surrounded by the quiet beauty of the garden tomb, the women experienced a range of emotions as they grappled with the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. Their sorrow turned to joy as they realized the significance of this momentous event. This encounter marked the beginning of a new era for humanity, where death was no longer the final destination, but rather a doorway to eternal life through Jesus Christ.

What is 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 about?

This verse from 1 Corinthians 15:22 highlights the profound spiritual truth of the Christian faith – through Christ’s resurrection, believers can have the hope of their own resurrection. It contrasts the consequences of Adam’s sin with the transformative power of Christ’s victory over death. It offers a message of hope and redemption by emphasizing the universality of death through Adam and the possibility of new life through Christ.

Reflecting on this verse, consider the significance of Christ’s resurrection in your own life. How does the assurance of resurrection through Jesus shape your perspective on death and life after? How does this truth give you hope and comfort in the face of challenges and uncertainties? It’s a reminder of the central role of Christ in our faith and the promise of new beginnings and eternal life through Him. Embrace this truth and let it guide you in your journey of faith and hope.

Understanding what 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 really means

In the passage from 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, Paul emphasizes the significance of Christ’s resurrection as the cornerstone of the Christian faith. He proclaims with certainty that “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,” affirming the core belief that Jesus conquered death, validating His divinity and the promise of eternal life for believers. The imagery of Christ being the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” is powerful, likening His resurrection to the first portion of a harvest, guaranteeing a future resurrection for all who have died in Christ. This metaphor underscores the assurance of a greater resurrection to come, where believers will be raised to eternal life in the presence of God.

Paul’s comparison between Adam and Christ in the passage highlights the contrasting outcomes of their actions. Through Adam, sin entered the world, leading to death for all humanity. However, through Christ, redemption and life are offered to all who believe. This parallel underscores the transformative power of Christ’s resurrection, reversing the effects of sin and offering the gift of eternal life to those who are in Him.

The passage resonates with other biblical teachings, such as Romans 5:12-21, where Paul elaborates on the parallel between Adam’s sin and Christ’s redemptive work. Additionally, in John 11:25-26, Jesus proclaims Himself as the source of resurrection and life, promising eternal life to those who believe in Him. These passages collectively reinforce the central message of hope and redemption through Christ’s resurrection, emphasizing the foundational truth of the Christian faith.

The relevance of these verses in today’s world is profound. In a society marked by uncertainty and fear of death, the promise of resurrection offers believers a steadfast hope and assurance of eternal life. This assurance can bring comfort to those grappling with grief and loss, reminding them that death is not the final chapter but a transition to a glorious eternity in the presence of God. Moreover, the hope of resurrection can inspire believers to live purposefully, focusing on eternal values and finding strength in the promise of new life beyond the grave.

To illustrate the concept of Christ as the firstfruits of resurrection, one can envision a farmer planting seeds with the expectation of a bountiful harvest. The first sprout that emerges brings joy and confidence in the future abundance of the harvest. Similarly, Christ’s resurrection serves as the initial evidence of the promised resurrection for all believers, instilling hope and assurance in the ultimate fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan.

In conclusion, the resurrection of Christ is not merely a historical event but a living reality that shapes our understanding of life, death, and eternity. By embracing this truth, believers can navigate life with courage, hope, and a profound sense of purpose, knowing that in Christ, they are assured of new life beyond the confines of mortality. The promise of resurrection stands as a beacon of hope in a world overshadowed by the specter of death, offering a glimpse of the eternal glory that awaits those who are in Christ.

What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection for us?

The significance of Jesus’ resurrection for us is that it provides hope for our own resurrection. Jesus Christ brings the resurrection of the dead, just as Adam brought death. This means that because Christ was raised from the dead, we too can have the confidence that we will be raised to life again after death. The resurrection of Jesus is a powerful demonstration of God’s victory over sin and death, and it is a source of assurance for believers that death is not the end.

Furthermore, Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates His power and authority over all things, including death. It is a confirmation of His divinity and the ultimate defeat of Satan and his forces. This victory gives us strength and encouragement to face the trials and struggles of life with confidence, knowing that we serve a risen Savior who has conquered death and offers us eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of our faith and a reminder of the love and grace of God towards us.


Life’s hurdles at work and the chaos at home can sometimes make us forget the bigger picture. But remember, just like a successful project at work or a resolved family conflict, Christ’s resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 shows us victory over the greatest struggle—death. It’s a reminder that hope and redemption are always within our reach. Can you embrace this truth and let it fuel your faith in every part of your life?