The dead in Christ shall rise first (1
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 Pauls logic
the believers 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
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
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.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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