As a pastor, I’ve been asked many questions about death and the resurrection. The Apostle Paul had to deal with these issues as well.
But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
1 Corinthians 15:35-36
This is our great hope in a nutshell. We’re not just looking for the end of life. In Christ, there is death and rebirth.
Even knowing this, people have questions about how this all works. What about believers whose bodies were burned at the stake? Or those who died in shipwrecks and were eaten by fish. Then there are those who choose to be cremated.
This section of Scripture deals with these issues. The bottom line is that we don’t need to worry about what happens to our bodies after we die.
When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
1 Corinthians 15:37-41
Paul starts by saying that every type of body is different. We serve a very creative God. He loves variety. So the natural universe is a grand display of His power and artistry.
But one thing is clear…the body that’s placed in the ground is not the body that will rise at the resurrection. That’s just like the fact that a tomato plant looks nothing like the tomato seed that was planted.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised 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.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44a
This is the foundation for our expectation of the future. When we attend a believer’s funeral, it’s not the body in the casket that will rise. On Resurrection Day we will receive a brand new body.
It doesn’t matter if your dead body is burned, eaten by fish, or turned into powder by the passing of time. The body that was “planted” does not contain the material of the new body that will rise at the coming of the Lord.
According to this verse, the old body is subject to decay, disgrace, and weakness. Our new body will have none of those characteristics. Instead, it will be a body that has immortality, glory, and power. That’s something to look forward to.
The last part of this verse gives us a little more insight. Right now, our body is natural, or literally, soulish. That means that our flesh is under the authority of our mind. Whatever we think about, our body performs.
After the resurrection, our body will be a spiritual body. That means it’s under the control of our spirit. It will function like Jesus did after His resurrection. It will even be able to transport wherever it needs to be – even going through walls if needed.
As I said in the last post, this thought should give us the perseverance to live for Christ to our fullest potential. We know that our future, in Him, will be glorious!
Question: How focused are you on eternal life?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi