By Brooke Holt
“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” - 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
Paul continued teaching about resurrection through a series of contrasts between our current physical bodies and the resurrected bodies we are to receive. And these contrasts would have been just as shocking to his readers in Corinth as they are to us today. We Americans place a great deal of emphasis on our physical bodies. That is why the diet industry is so incredibly profitable and gyms are packed every January. How much do Americans spend on liposuction or facelifts each year? We focus so much time, energy, and resources to enhance these physical bodies.
Paul would have us to shift our focus from the temporal to the eternal. Yes, we are to be good stewards of our physical bodies so that we can be in the best health and thus have abundant energy for the work of the Lord. However, we are not to obsess over these bodies that are perishing but to keep focusing on the things of God that will never perish.
Let’s look again at these contrasts: perishable/imperishable, dishonor/glory, weakness/power, natural/spiritual. Paul wanted his readers to understand that the best is yet to come. As wonderful as these present physical bodies are, the resurrected bodies will be so much greater in that they will never die; they will be fully glorious; they will have perfect power; and there will be no more struggling with the flesh. Every challenge you face in this world concerning your physical limitations and failings will be completely obliterated.
And what will be left? Just glory—perfect heavenly glory, like Jesus. Again, Paul reminded the Corinthians (and you) that just as you have a physical body so you will have a spiritual body. This is a guarantee from the Lord himself. May we enjoy and care for these physical bodies while we anticipate the glory of the resurrected bodies that await us!
How do these words of Paul challenge you or encourage you in the consideration of your physical body? Take some time to ponder the glory that awaits you, the perfection of your body, and being completely freed from the fear of death. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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