Sunday, 29 March 2015
But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 1 Corinthians 15:35
Thus far, Paul has spoken about the fact of the resurrection of the dead. It has occurred in Christ and so there is a precedent for it. If there is a precedent, then it logically follows that the resurrection is a natural outcome of being “in Christ” for the believer. Now that he has fully established this truth, he poses questions which had certainly been asked of him. From this, he will provide answers sufficient for our present state and future hope.
As the fact of the resurrection is established, the introduction of the questions moves to the manner and form of it. Concerning manner, the question is, “How are the dead raised up?” There are almost an infinite number of things that could go through the mind concerning this. How can the dead be reanimated? What about someone who got eaten by sharks, alligators, or worms? How could a person dissolved in a nuclear blast be re-gathered together and come alive again? What about those who died 2000 years ago? How can a person be resurrected after such a long time? Questions like this address manner in the resurrection process.
Next concerning form, the question might be, “With what body do they come?” Will the resurrected feel pain like we feel it now? Will we be able to fly? Will we be able to see in 3D? Will we need food to eat, sleep to rest, or exercise to stay fit? What about a child that dies… will he resurrect as a child? Will an old person remain old? Will we know one another? Will we have the same affections, likes, and dislikes?
On and on, we can posit questions concerning the form of the resurrection. This is especially the case because Paul uses the term “come” rather than “return.” If the manner questions are logically considered and answered (for example, cannibals who once ate Christian missionaries and later came to Christ themselves), the form questions necessitate “coming” rather than “returning.” In this, we can know that the body of the resurrection is the same in individuality, but not necessarily in material make-up. Paul will give explanations of this as he continues.
Life application: God has it all figured out. If He promises a resurrection for those who are in Christ, it will come about just as He promised… and it will be glorious.
Lord God, Your word tells us that heaven and hell really exist. Knowing this, I am certain that for those who have called on Christ this world is as close to hell as they will ever get. And for those without Christ, this world is as close to heaven as they will ever get. The hope for me lies in how wonderful it will be in comparison to the very best thing I have ever known. I am glad that I don’t have to worry about a comparison to the very worst thing I have ever experienced. Thank You, O God, for Christ my Lord who has made heaven possible once again. Amen.