Summary: Anyone who has ever undergone the scrutiny of the adoption process will testify that the sweetest words of the whole experience are, “The adoption is final”. From the first meeting with those in authority, to the last “inspection” and filing of all paperw

Biblical Text: John 20:1-18 and

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. [17] Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”

1 Cor. 15:20-22

“ But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Anyone who has ever undergone the scrutiny of the adoption process will testify that the sweetest words of the whole experience are, “The adoption is final”. From the first meeting with those in authority, to the last “inspection” and filing of all paperwork, all the “would-be” parents long to hear is that it’s over…it’s finished…the adoption is final.

This Easter morning, I want to preach to us about the spiritual adoption instituted by God and finalized by our Resurrected Savior. Those of us who have confessed Christ as our personal Savior have already experienced our final adoption into the family of God. But I wonder if we ever take the time to remember the complexity of the process…the great and awful sacrifice of God’s own flesh…that we might become the “sons of God”.

It’s Easter, and we celebrate that Christ has risen from the dead. He has become the “firstfruits of them that slept.” For centuries now, the Jewish farmer had pledged his first fruits as an offering unto God in appreciation for a bountiful harvest. The offering of the first fruit to God assured God’s blessing upon the rest of the harvest. It was the path of obedience established by God to justify His chosen people. As God’s chosen, the Jews were justified by their demonstration of faith in God, and thus they remained a part of the adoption process for centuries.

During each festival celebration, the Jews followed the path of obedience, bringing the firstfruits of their labors and their sacrificial lambs to God’s altar. The first fruits were holy to the Lord. They represented the Jews adherence to the original contract drafted by God, in His pre-ordained adoption process. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

You see…it wasn’t the lamb or the first of the harvest that God really wanted. These were only symbolic of what God really wanted. What God really wanted was the spiritual first fruits of every soul. As the Jews wave-sheaf was the first of their harvest, so the spiritual life, and all the graces which adorn that life, are the first fruits of the Spirit of God in our souls. Note that in 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Lord speaks in the future tense….THEN will I hear….THEN will I forgive…THEN will I heal. The process of adoption would not be complete until provision would be made for every repentant heart.

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