"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:20).
When the women, very early on that morning after the Sabbath rest, came to the sepulcher in Joseph's new garden, where they had seen Joseph and Nicodemus bury their Lord Jesus, they were greeted by angels with an amazing announcement. "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said" (Matthew 28:5-6).
"He is risen; he is not here." These wonderful words were also recorded by Mark (Mark 16:6) and by Luke, (Luke 24:6). John, who wrote his own account many years later after the story had been widely circulated, told instead how Mary Magdalene had seen Jesus Himself standing outside the tomb, calling her by name. (John 20:14-16).
The apostle Paul later wrote to the Corinthian church, stressing in detail the "many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3) that Christ is risen indeed. There were apparently some who, even at that time, were doubting whether the dead would ever live again, so Paul reminded them: "But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is not Christ risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).
But it is not in vain! It can be shown that the bodily resurrection of Christ is a proven fact, as certain as any other fact in ancient history. "Now is Christ risen from the dead." And then our text also says that He is merely "the first fruits" in the great resurrection promised for all who accept Christ as Savior. He Himself promised: "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19).
Christ is risen indeed! And God indeed "hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). HMM