1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NLT)
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

The apostle is confirming to the Corinthian Christians that while Christ died -- He has risen from the dead and taken His place in heaven. It reassures us as adopted sons and daughters of God because of our faith in Christ we too will be joined with Christ upon our death. The apostle gives reference to Adam that because of his sin man was handed over to death, but those who belong to Christ will be given a new life, a life abundant in grace in mercy on earth, and a life ever after in heaven upon our death.

Adam and Eve were given a wonderful life in the Garden of Eden. They were told one thing they should not do -- and that was to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet they disobeyed God and sin entered into their hearts. They were no longer pure and free from sin.

Sadly there was another tree in the garden called the tree of life, which they could have eaten prior to their failure. This tree would have given them eternal life. God in his loving mercy and grace knowing Adam and Eve were now filled with sin moved them from the Garden of Even; away from the tree of life. God even placed an angel with the tree to protect anyone from gaining access. God knew that man was now filled with sin and that to have eternal life would mean a life eternally filled with sin and no hope of salvation. That was not God�s plan for man.

So God gave His Son Jesus Christ to become a sacrifice for our sins. Through Christ�s death those who believe in His death, who are willing to repent of their sins and ask Christ to be their Lord and savior are once again free from the bondage of sin that Adam and Eve placed upon mankind. God had prepared mankind for this by providing laws and commandments, which mankind was not able to obey or keep. God wanted to show them their need for a savior; one who could free them from the debt of sin and give them an everlasting life.

John 3:16-17 says, �16 �For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.� For those who try to live by law and commandments are judged by the those laws; yet those who receive Christ as their Lord and Savior are given mercy and grace.

Over the past month my mother has passed away along with some of my childhood friend�s parents. Some of my close high school friends have also passed away or their brothers and sisters. It�s been a tough month, but I find comfort in knowing they knew Christ and that they are all together in heaven with Christ. It brings a peace beyond understanding to know they are well, they are no longer suffering and are they are at total peace. Christ has indeed given them an abundant and new life to enjoy.