How would you define resurrection? In simple terms, I think most people would say that resurrection is a dead person coming back to life with a much better body. By better body, I mean one that is no longer susceptible to disease or death. But have you ever really thought about what that better body might be like? The Bible entertains this question.
“But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?'”1 Corinthians 15:35
I would think that any conversation we may have about a better body would interest us. We are infatuated with our bodies. From daytime television to wellness magazines, from Dr. Oz to Men’s Health we tune in to things that promise to help us live longer, happier, healthier lives.
We have great concerns about body image. Hollywood dictates to us what is attractive and what is not. As a result, our nation is home to over 18,000 tanning salons. Shows like The Biggest Loser and America’s Next Top model get high ratings.
It seems the younger we are the greater the struggle with body image. According to an article at badgerherald.com, in 2003 more than 223,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on patients 18 or younger. 90% of college students say they are unhappy with their body.
Why We Hate our Bodies
Why is it that we pay so much attention to our bodies, work so hard on our bodies, have so much information about our bodies, but still seem to be so unhappy with our bodies?
I think it is because we live as if this body is all we’ve got. When you make your body ultimate, you are bound to be miserable. Eventually, you come to grips with the reality that you are fighting a losing battle.
If you play the comparison game with well-figured people, you may follow their workout or drink their drink for a time. But at some point, you realize there is one key ingredient missing from the equation. Their body is not your body. You can drink seaweed with every meal, but you can’t be them.
While healthier choices are helpful, it is futile to try to preserve a body that is bound to decay and destined to die.
Resurrection is radical body transformation! But it will not come through keto or liposuction. If you will grab on to what the Bible says about your body in light of the resurrection, you will think about your body in a much healthier and happier way.
The Bible says that if you really want to understand resurrection, you need to think of yourself as a seed.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.1 Corinthians 15:37-38
If we are to think of our bodies as a seed, then the real concern we should have of our bodies is not what they look like, but what is in them. If what is in you is resurrected to its fullest potential what does that mean you become forever?
Let’s take this idea of thinking about the resurrection and our bodies like a seed and unpack this idea in 1 Corinthians 15:35-58.
A Seed Must be PLANTED
“You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or some other grain.”1 Corinthians 15:36-37
When a seed is planted in the soil, that is the end of it as it is, but that is not the end of it.
Death is not the end of you.
They say, “You only live once.” The Bible says that is not true. The Bible teaches that you will live forever. After you die, you will be resurrected as an eternal version of yourself.
The Bible also teaches that there are only two versions of forever. One is the forever blessedness of those Christ has redeemed in a new Heaven and a new Earth (Rev. 21). This version of forever will be the world as God intended it to be in the beginning. It will be good and life-giving.
The other version of forever is one of punishment as those who were not redeemed by Christ are separated from Him in an eternal lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15). This is a horrible and painful end of unimaginable suffering.
Good Looking, Healthy People Die
If we think of our bodies as a seed to be planted, then we surely can’t think of them as an end. For one, death is an inescapable reality. No matter what you do, you are going to die. No one survives life. Very good looking, extremely healthy people die.
The world’s greatest athletes all die. Robert Atkins, the inventor of the wildly popular low-carb Atkins diet, is dead.
Have you ever done Pilates? Joseph Pilates died of emphysema from smoking cigars at the age of 83. He was very flexible when he died.
Being healthy helps, but it is not going to save you. At some point, we have to realize that the question is not how we look or even how we feel. The question we should be asking is what is within us? That’s always the question of a seed – not its color, its size, or its texture. The question of a seed is of what is inside of it?
Perhaps instead of so much working out, we need to spend some time working in.
If what is inside of you is resurrected forever, what is your forever going to be?
It is not true that you only live once. What is true is that you only get one shot to make sure what is in the seed is what needs to be in the seed. And this is not a question of fitness, but of nature. This we will discuss in tomorrow’s post.
To be continued in the next post.. Think Resurrection for a Much Better Body.
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Last week’s posts: God’s Good Answer to Bad Things
#TheWalk – How asking this question every day will help you achieve your greatest goals.