Raised Imperishable

  • Peter Friesen, Author
  • Retired Minister

1 Corinthians 15:35-42… 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; (NIV)

Before we begin to try to interpret this section of Scripture, we would do well to remember one thing. All through it the Holy Spirit is directing the apostle Paul to talk about things that no one knows much about. None of us here have died and come back to tell us what it was like on the other side; therefore, we must remember that he is not talking about verifiable matters of fact, but about matters of faith. Paul is trying to express the inexpressible and to describe the indescribable, and he is using human ideas and human words and human things that we are all familiar with.

From the day we are born we must deal with some form of pain. Early in life, we find that pain is not a thing we want to experience very often. We do not like pain, and who can blame us. I do not know anybody who has ever told me that they are simply crazy about pain and enjoy every moment of it… it is rather the other way.

For the Christian, however, there is good news. The good news is that although we cannot do anything about the fact that we are growing old and one day we must die, one day also, we will be raised from the dead. The Bible teaches that we will get new bodies. In our resurrection, we will receive one that is different from our current one yet will still reflect who we are. It will be made for the eternal kingdom. It will be a glorious, powerful, eternal, and spiritual body like the body Jesus has. This changes everything. This gives us hope.

The apostle Paul takes the similarity of a seed. He says that the seed is put in the ground and dies, but in due time it rises again and, does so with a vastly different kind of body from that with which it was sown. Paul is showing us that there is an end to this life, and then we enter a different life, but life continues. The seed is dissolved; when it rises again, there is a huge difference in its body.

The seed that you and I plant in the ground breaks down, but yet it does not take long for a new plant to poke its way to the surface: despite the change and the difference, it produces the same kind of seed that we had planted. So likewise, our earthly bodies will dissolve; they will rise again in a vastly different form, but it is the same person who rises. Dissolved by death, changed by the resurrection, it is still we who exist.

One of the blessed hopes of every Christian is that one day Jesus will return to this earth of ours and give to all who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour and new Spiritual Body. One of the questions that come to mind today will be answered; just what kind of body will we receive? On the surface, it seems to be a reasonably valid question.

Not only will we have a new one, but the new one will be fitted for eternity. Unlike the one we currently have, which is made for this world, our new resurrection bodies are going to be made for eternity… the present one is a natural body; the future one will be spiritual. But in the life to come we will be such that the Spirit can truly fill us, as can never happen here, and the Spirit can truly use us, as is never possible now. Then we will be able to render the perfect worship, the perfect service, the perfect love; that now can only be a vision and a dream… To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done

Would you pray this prayer with me…? “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have peace in my heart. I really want that peace, joy and happiness that I long for. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will bring honour to Your Name.” Amen