Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Sunday is Easter.  I prefer to call it  Resurrection Sunday. It is celebrated by Christians around the world as the day on which Christ rose from the dead three days after His brutal execution on a Roman cross. It is the central miracle of the New Testament; that someone who is dead can live again. It is the driving force behind the Christian faith, that you too can enjoy resurrection to a better life after you have shuffled off the mortal coil. It is one reason why believers actually believe.

You find allusions to resurrection throughout the New Testament, but Paul does an excellent summary of 'resurrection knowledge' in 1 Corinthians 15. He writes first about the resurrection of Christ and the witnesses to the event that includes himself, having seen Jesus at a later date than the other witnesses. In shear numbers, there were over 500 witnesses. To me, this constitutes proof. Jesus Christ lives.

Paul also talks a bit about the resurrection of all the dead in general, but his focus is mostly on believers. The fate of the resurrected unbelievers is not discussed here to any extent, but we know their outcome is not good.

He ends the discussion with a description of the process of resurrection itself. The prospect is exciting. He says,

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

    51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Those of us that still live when Christ returns will not die in the classic sense, but we will be changed, we will be transformed. Our physical selves will become our everlasting selves in unity with our immortal spirits. From that point, we will live forever.

Those of us that are dead at His second advent, will receive new physical bodies and we too shall live forever with Christ. The universe will be renovated, renewed (not discussed here) and we shall rule and reign with Him forever. 

The future is bright. As the old creation, marred by the effects of sin and death winds down, it will give birth to the true new age and we will be there with life that will never end. The day is coming.

The nature of the resurrection body is a bit of a mystery, but we have clues. The record of Jesus' resurrection body can be found in the gospels. When he appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus  in Luke 24 and again to the apostles shortly after this, there was some confusion about the nature of His physical self. Initially some thought He was a ghost, but He proved to them He was not merely spiritual, but also physical. He was both body and spirit as a man should be. Humans are incomplete without both (and this is why death is an unnatural state for humans). Nevertheless, there were differences between Christ the man and Christ the resurrected man. 

As the resurrected Christ, Jesus was able to prevent people from recognizing Him until He desired to be known. He was able to pass through locked doors and just 'appear'. We know however, that He was a physical being. It was possible to touch Him. The wounds from His execution were apparent. He was able to eat and to drink and speak. It was as though He was existing on another plain of reality, but was still able to enter our reality. Truly a miracle man.

Will our resurrection bodies be like His? I believe so. 1 John 3:2 says this,
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

This is my hope, to be like Jesus, both spiritually and physically.  

Thank you Lord for the hope. Thank you for your willingness to come here and struggle with us and offer your life to save us. You have marked us with your Blood and your Word. You have joined your Spirit with our spirit. You have made us Yours for all time. I praise your precious name for this kindness and grace. You are Mighty God and Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the One True God and I do not know where I would be without you...wait...yes I do. Thank You for saving me from that fate. Praise and honor and glory to you Lord. In Your name I pray...Amen

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