Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

I got to thinking about the widely held, traditional view of the Resurrection of the body, where the idea is that our earthly bodies will be transformed into a glorified version of what our fleshly bodies were like. The more I thought about what is actually being said, and comparing that to what the Bible teaches, the less appealing that traditional idea became. It’s like a caterpillar that goes through metamorphosis, and when it emerges from its cocoon instead of being transformed into a beautiful butterfly able to fly, it becomes a resurrected glorified caterpillar.

When we read the writings of Paul where he describes the Resurrection of the body, the image he portrays is one of transformation, that is to say the bare seed (our fleshly body) being planted in the ground, and from the seed that dies in the ground, a plant springs forth that in no way resembles the seed that was sown. The seed doesn’t spring forth as a resurrected glorified seed, but rather a living plant capable of bearing fruit

1Cor.15:35-38 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sows is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sows, thou sows not that body that shall be, but bare grain seed, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

In speaking of the resurrection of the body Jesus said: “unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it cannot bring forth fruit”; this clearly tells us that the body which we will be resurrected in bears no likeness to this fleshly body we live in here on earth.

John 12:24-25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Mark 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Like the tiny mustard seed that dies in the ground then grows to be the greatest of herbs, and the earthbound caterpillar that dies in its cocoon then bursts forth as a beautiful soaring butterfly, we too will be changed into that which will bear the image of Christ.

John 5:21- 25 For as the Father raises up the dead, and gives life; even so the Son gives life whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live…28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation.

In the above passage of John it is important to the understanding of what is being said, to define what is meant by “the dead” from the context in which it is being used, because that which is dead is going to be made alive. This act of being made alive applies not only to the dead who are living at that time and hearing the voice of Christ, but also to those who are “in the graves” and will be hearing His voice. Jesus makes a distinction between those who are dead and hearing His voice at that present time and those who are in the graves and will hear His voice in the time to come. All who hear the voice of the Son of God will participate in the resurrection….one will be of life, and one will be condemnation.

John 6:39-40 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again (in the resurrection) at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up (in the resurrection) at the last day….. 44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up (in the resurrection) at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.….54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up (in the resurrection) at the last day.

John 11:23-25 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

1Cor.15:16-23 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming (Parousia).

Jesus calls Himself the Resurrection and says that all who come to Him will have eternal life and be raised up at the Last Day; connecting it to the resurrection. Since there is only one Resurrection (Jesus) and one Last Day, all who believe in Jesus will be resurrected (made alive) in Him at His coming.

1Cor.15:35-49 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sows is not made alive, except it die: And that which thou sows, thou sows not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 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. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

1Cor.15:50-54 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Paul is very specific in answering this question: How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come? Using the analogy of a seed; just as Jesus did many times he speaks of the resurrected body as a seed that is planted in the ground. The seed that is sown in the ground bears no resemblance to the seedling that springs forth; just as the physical body will bear no resemblance to our spiritual bodies….the body of flesh (seed) must be transformed as the seed before it can emerge into its heavenly form. There is no mention of the flesh and blood body being resurrected, but rather transformed as the seed, to become a new creation!

The butterfly gives us a beautiful example of the transformation that take place when the earth bound body of the caterpillar, metamorphosis into the heavenly butterfly.

Matt.17: 1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was metamorphoo before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

2Cor.3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are metamorphoo into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Rom.6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Rom.8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

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