I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body
This week was the last week of our Believe sermon series, in which we taken an in-depth look at the Apostle’s Creed, one of the earliest statements of our faith. We dived into the last two belief statements “I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” We read 1 Corinthians 15:12-22, in which Paul argues that if there is no resurrection of Jesus, then our preaching is useless, our faith is futile, we are dead in our sins, and to be the most pitied of all people. Then, his argument turns, and he exclaims that Christ has indeed risen from the grave. As all die in Adam, all are raised in Christ Jesus. Earlier in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul states why he believes in the resurrection. He believes in the resurrection because it was the fulfillment of scriptures, and there was over 500 witnesses to the resurrection. He believes in the resurrection because Christ appeared to him personally.
I believe in the resurrection of the body. When Jesus was resurrected, he was not raised as a spirit or a ghost. Jesus could touch others and be touched, and he could eat and drink. But when Jesus was resurrected, he was also changed. His body wasn’t the same. Some people didn’t recognize him, and he could mysteriously walk through walls. When we say we believe in the resurrection of the body, we say we believe that we are not disembodied and that we do not dissect the soul and the mind out of the body in resurrection, but that it is our whole selves that are resurrected. However, our bodies are changed; they are not the same. No longer do we have disabilities, bad eyesight, a bad back, our bodies are made new somehow, our bodies are perfect and Christ-like. The essential thing about you that makes you who you are will not be erased. In his book Creed, Rev. Adam Hamilton writes, “Surely God, who wrote the software that makes up life, has our DNA sequenced and “on file” and can use it to create whatever kind of “heavenly body” God intends.”
I believe in life everlasting. Belief in life everlasting is the belief that we do not stay dead, but that we will live forever with God. In eternal life, one’s mind, heart, and will is turned fully towards God. In eternal life, the first priority is not a family and/or friend reunion, but rather, it is looking forward to being united with Christ. Belief in the resurrection of the body and in everlasting life means that we do not believe death has the final word on our lives. We live in expectant hope that because Jesus lives, we will live also. The power of the resurrection is the power to transform this life and bring us to eternal life. Because of Christ’s resurrection, we can live eternally as resurrected people.
Our belief in the resurrection changes how we grieve the lives of those we have lost. It gives us peace that our grandparents, our parents, our friends, our children who we have buried do not stay dead but will live on, close to Christ. Our belief in the resurrection and eternal life changes how we approach our own life and death. We approach death, not in fear, but in fervent hope that death does not have the final word but that Jesus holds us close after death just as he holds us close in our present life. In the Gospel of John, Jesus uses both the words “eternal” and “abundant” to refer to the type of life he offers. Jesus said “I came so they might have life, and have it abundantly.” If we look at eternal life this way, we acknowledge that we can live abundant life in Christ not only in the afterlife but also today.
Monday- 1 Corinthians 15:1-19
Tuesday- 1 Corinthians 15:20-44
Wednesday- 1 Corinthians 15:45-58
Thursday- John 11:17-44
Friday- Psalm 66:1-20
Questions to Consider or Discuss:
1. What do you believe happens to a person when they die?
2. What does eternal life mean to you?
3. What can you do now to live an abundant life in Christ?