RAISED AND TRANSFORMED
Loving Lord, I thank you for struggles overcome and blessings received. May today be filled with gratitude and hope.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 15:35-49
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”[a]; 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[b] bear the image of the heavenly man.
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.
ReflectThink of pairs of opposites – light and dark; black and white. Pray for God’s help as we think about the contrast between our earthly and heavenly bodies.
Some Corinthians did not understand what sort of body the resurrected would have (v 35). It can be hard to imagine! Paul explains using seeds (vs 36-38). Seeds are dead when they are sown. When they grow, the plant that emerges from the ground is not like the seed, but it will be of its kind – we can recognize it (v 38). There is a continuity between our earthly bodies and our resurrection bodies, just as there is continuity between the seed and the plant. When the dead are raised they will be recognizable, but also totally transformed.
If we look at different forms of creation – people, animals, birds, fish, the moon, the sun and the stars – all have different forms of splendor. There is a difference between our earthly bodies and our heavenly ones too (vs 39-41). What might we learn from the examples Paul gives?
There is hope! The origins of our fleshly natural bodies were in ‘the first man Adam’, but now there is Jesus, ‘the heavenly man’ (vs 44b-49), ‘a life-giving spirit’ (v 45). One day our earthly bodies with all their limitations will be replaced by our resurrection spiritual bodies and we will fully bear the image of Jesus (v 49).
As you consider the hope of a resurrected body, how would you share that hope with others?
Lord, I focus today on the knowledge that there is nothing, nothing at all that can separate me from your love in Christ Jesus. Thank you, Lord.
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