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Our Resurrection Hope

“The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

The resurrection of Christ gives us assurance that our loved ones who have died in Christ are currently safe in Christ and they shall live again. They will have their own identity in their own resurrected body. His resurrection assures us that these bodies buried in the grave shall rise again, not in corruption, but in incorruptible, perfect, glorified bodies like that of the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15).

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” assures us of our vital union with Christ even in death. When Christ returns all those who believe in Him will come with Him. They will be raised up at His appearing. Jesus is the “Resurrection and the Life” and He gives His life to those who believe on Him.

“He that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). In Paul’s logic the believer’s resurrection is linked to the resurrection of His Lord. Everything is suspended on the great fact of our vital union “in Christ.”

“If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them that slept in Jesus will God bring with Him.” The “dead in Christ” will hear the voice of the Resurrection and the Life and come alive.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ answers the question “with what body do they come?” We look at the resurrected body of Jesus in the Scriptures and we see in Him a living mirror of our own future resurrected bodies.

 We will have holiness and righteousness perfectly restored to us in Christ. The apostle John declares, “When He shall appear we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Christ shall return as He went up. We shall receive back our bodies perfected in Christ. Our bodies shall be “fashioned like His glorious body.” That removes all the foolish vain imaginations and arrogant nonsense the world proposes about Christianity.

The present body of the flesh with its limitations cannot inherit the kingdom of God. However, our transformed and glorified state will inherit His kingdom. Only the glorified body is capable of eternal life. 

What will our resurrected glorified bodies be like? They will be like the risen Christ who ate, and drank before eyewitnesses who saw Him in plain sight. They touched the same body that had been crucified and saw the scars of His passion. But there was also another dimension that was free of the limitations of time, space and matter. It was above the law of gravity and matter. We, too, shall have glorified bodies specially prepared to inhabit the new heaven and new earth.

Our new bodies will have the same vital characteristics of our unique personalities, but they will never ever be corrupted again by the effects of sin and the Fall.

Only Christianity gives dignity and worth to the human being. “As we have born the image of the earthly, we shall bear the image of the heavenly.” The apostle Paul compared our physical bodies to that of a seed that falls to the ground and is buried and will one day be raised up to new life after Christ who is the first-fruit (1 Cor. 15). “In Adam all die . . .” but “in Christ shall all be made alive.” Why? Because Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

To paraphrase John Knox, if you are alive in Christ there is no need for you to fear the death of the flesh. The seed that is planted in springtime is not the seed that shall be in harvest time, but the Apostle Paul tells us there is an identity between the two seeds that is clearly identifiable. The seed of the harvest comes into being only in the death of the first. One great resurrection morning this old body of death shall rise again when Christ calls it to life.

One day we shall be clothed with another body, redeemed from all sin and iniquity, made like the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only then shall we know our full, complete, perfect, glorious redemption in Christ.

Those who witnessed the death of the first Christian martyr “looked steadfast on him and saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” May the transforming grace of God give us that kind of a relationship with Him until the great resurrection morning.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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