But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death].
But Christ has truly been raised from the dead—the ·first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised [L firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep; C unlike others who had been raised to mortal life, Christ was the first to be raised to everlasting life].
But the glorious fact is that Christ did rise from the dead: he has become the very first to rise of all who sleep the sleep of death. As death entered the world through a man, so has rising from the dead come to us through a man! As members of a sinful race all men die; as members of the Christ of God all men shall be raised to life, each in his proper order, with Christ the very first and after him all who belong to him when he comes.
If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.
But in fact Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach has had His Techiyah! Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach is the Bikkurim ("Firstfruits" Gn 1:11-13; Ex 23:16; Lev 23:10-11), the Firstfruits of the ones having fallen asleep [in Moshiach].
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