God, encourage me and give me strength for today.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:35–58
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 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. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen did you first discover something about yourself that made you feel “old”?
Our world will do almost anything to avoid thinking about death. People are afraid of death and go to great lengths to preserve life.
Paul tackles those fears head-on. Death no longer has any power; Jesus has smashed it. Beyond death is new life, resurrection life. His argument here isn’t always easy to follow. When he talks about a spiritual body he does not mean one that isn’t physical. He is trying to find a way to help us understand that the bodies we have at the resurrection will be both like and unlike the bodies we have now. Now we are limited, weak and frail—none of that will apply after death. We can see something of this with Jesus. His body after the resurrection was physical—it could be touched; he was normally, but not always, recognized; he ate and drank—and yet he could somehow pass through closed doors. We don’t know exactly what it will be like, but we know that it will be wonderful.
The process of dying may be painful, physically and emotionally. But we don’t need to be afraid of what lies ahead of us. Jesus has already gone there and he has taken the sting out of death for us. This gives us confidence to live and work for Jesus now.
Nothing we do for God is wasted (58). What will that encourage you to do today?
Jesus, give me the courage to live life with complete abandon for You!
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