“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” 1 Cor 15:12-14
In this chapter, Paul addresses a heresy that had already risen in the Corinthian church: that Jesus did not rise bodily from the dead. The Greeks sought after all manner of philosophies, and many of them were wise according to man’s wisdom, but not wise in truth. The heresy that the mortal or natural body is not resurrected seems to me to come from platonic philosophy. Plato believed and taught that the flesh was corrupt and that the only good in a person was in the soul. (The Scriptures teach man as a triune being, spirit, soul, and body; while Greek philosophy taught man as a dual being, soul and body only. Thus, according to Plato, the evil was in the body, while the good was in the soul, or the immaterial part of the person.)
While Plato made some accurate observations, the outworking of this philosophy without the guide of the truth revealed in Scripture caused it to careen off into error. Plato taught that anything to do with the flesh was likewise corrupt – thus a platonic relationship was the highest or best form of relationship between a man and his wife, not a marriage relationship. He also taught that every soul was intrinsically good and incorrupt, thus denying the separation of the spirit which occurred at the Fall between man and his Creator, resulting in eternal death, from which man needed to be redeemed.
Even some modern theologians are denying the resurrection of Jesus — because a risen Savior with a real body, is a living Savior who is physically returning again to subdue His enemies under His feet — and that is such a narrow view, judgmental and intolerant of other realities, to a liberal mind.
Just what is the significance of the resurrection? The first man, Adam, caused death to triumph over life, when he chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil over the tree of life. The second man, Jesus, caused life to triumph over death! This is why the resurrection of Jesus is pivotal to faith in YHVH – His life likewise restores us back to the tree of life! And while the garden in the beginning contained two trees, the garden at the end contains only one tree: the tree of life (Rev 22:1-2)!
For further reading:
the harvest festivals (firstfruits, weeks, tabernacles), 1 corinthians 15