There are many questions that cannot now be answered about the resurrection of the dead, about the bodies we shall have in the resurrection, and about heaven, the home of God's people in their resurrection bodies. Nevertheless, Scripture gives us enough information to allow us to believe the resurrection of the body, and to know that it is something to be hoped and prayed for.
Scripture says the most about our resurrection bodies in I Corinthians 15. There we are told four most precious things:
(1) That body shall be incorruptible (vss. 42, 52). Not only will we be free from the effects of sin - sickness and death and the grave - but it will never again be possible, as it was for Adam, that sin and death return. Incorruptible means "not able to be corrupted!"
(2) That resurrection body shall also be glorious (vs. 43). Its glory will be the glory of Christ Himself and of God in Christ. "These vile bodies," Paul says, "shall be changed into the likeness of Christ's most glorious body" (Phil. 3:21). That, too, is important for it is what heaven and the life of heaven are all about.
(3) The resurrection body will also be powerful (I Cor. 15:43). Isaiah 40:31 tells us a little bit about that. To be able to run and not become weary is almost inconceivable, but that is only a small part of what we shall have through the resurrection. Not only will the powers that Adam lost be restored, but we shall have much more besides - we shall have the power to know even as we are known (I Cor. 13:12). Above all, we shall have the power to love and serve and obey God without sin. What a wonderful thing that will be!
(4) Finally, the body of the resurrection will be spiritual (I Cor. 15:44). Here too, it is difficult to know all that Scripture means, but it certainly means this at least - that we shall no longer be "flesh and blood" with bodies adapted to this earth and its life, but shall be able to inherit that which flesh and blood cannot inherit or see (vs. 50).
The changes that shall take place in our bodies when they are raised from the dust of death are so great that Scripture is forced to use a picture to try and give us some conception of it all. The change between a grain of wheat - a hard, apparently lifeless thing - and the green and living plant that grows from it is a small picture of the way we shall be changed (I Cor. 15:37).
There are pictures in creation as well. The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one such picture (and the Greek word "metamorphosis" is one of the words Scripture uses for the resurrection - translated "changed" in Phil. 3:21. From a worm that crawls in the dust to one of the most beautiful of all God's creatures it is changed and is yet the same creature - the same individual - as before.
When we think of these wonders of the resurrection, then it becomes the focus of our hopes. Then we say, "O, my Lord Jesus, come quickly! Come and change these vile, sin-ridden bodies, subject to death and corruption and make us in body as well as in spirit, like unto Thyself!"
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 5
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002; Emeritus October 15, 2017Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address13823 Clear Lake Rd.
State or ProvinceWA