I am writing my thesis on Galatians. There are various reasons why this book captivated me enough to decide to spend 3+ years researching and writing on it…and one of the main reasons is the opening verse:
Galatians 1:1 – Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through men, but through Jesus Christ and God our Father who raised him from the dead…
This is the only explicit mention of the resurrection in Galatians and many assume that the resurrection has no real part in the trajectory of Galatians. But its importance does not come from the number of times it is mentioned, rather from its placement. Paul’s first point, as he tries to convince the Galatians that there is only one gospel, is that God raises Jesus from the dead.
For those of us who grew up in church and have heard this in sermons, seen it in passion plays, spoke it through songs this is not all that surprising…but it does not mean it is any less amazing. Just take a moment wherever you are reading and say these words out loud, “God raised Jesus from the dead.” He was not asleep, he was not just buried in a tomb, he was dead…and God RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD!
For Paul, however, it does not stop there:
Ephesians 2:4-6 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
All those saved by the grace of God have been made alive! This is not something we have to wait for, it is something we have right now in Christ Jesus. The God who raised Jesus from the dead has made us alive together with Christ! Do it one more time, wherever you are say this out loud, “I am alive with Christ!”
In Galatians, Paul is facing disappointment and even anger over their decision to turn to another gospel. His first response is to lean on God’s ability to raise the dead. The gospel he believes and preaches requires this – to be brought from dead to life, from dead to alive requires a God who can raise the dead.
I do not know the problems facing you, nor do I know the way God will choose to comfort you in them and deliver you from them…but like Paul I do believe that we worship a God who raises the dead. No matter your situation this is the truth of the gospel. The God who empowers the gospel is a God who raises the dead.
Let us trust in that promise!