Microsoft word - 24-resurrection iii the resurrected body described.doc

Series: A Missional Church for a Pagan Culture
VBC Pastor John Johnson 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 April 5-6, 2008 “The Body You’ve Always Wanted”
INTRO I was picking up some groceries at Safeway last week -and could not help but notice Paul Newman has cancer -at least according to National Inquirer—which I rely on for all of my hard news -there he was on the cover—my hero—Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, the Hustler -frail, with skin blotches and thinned out hair -reminding me of what I’m told—that age happens—in a bewildering array of ways -that hair goes gray—or just goes -the light reaching the retina diminishes over time -the blood supply to the teeth atrophy—the flow of saliva decreases -the ability to chew declines -bones and teeth soften -while blood vessels and joints and muscles and valves—all eventually harden -and the heart finally says—I can no longer keep up with the demand -not that it is happening to me -like this story I once read— “While waiting for my appointment in the reception room, I noticed the dentist’s certificate, and I thought—could this be the guy I went to high school with 40 years ago? -upon seeing him—I discarded such thoughts—he was balding, with a deeply lined face—too old to be my classmate I asked him—did you go to such and such HS? Yes he replied -and when I discovered he graduated the year I did—I said—you were in my class -and he looked at me closely and then asked—what did you teach?” It turns out—this is not the body we have always wanted -no wonder, as Paul puts it in Romans 8, creation longs for the day to be set free from this corruption -and the body longs to be saved -but how does this happen? -what does it mean to have a new, a resurrected body? -this is the subject of I Cor 15 -but Paul faced a skeptical crowd -believers at Corinth viewed a resurrected body as unthinkable nonsense—right down there with Elvis sightings, alien abductions, and flat earth theories -immortality of the soul was one thing -but the resurrection of the body? -the whole idea was an offense to reason for those out of Greek culture—who viewed the body as synonymous with mortality, corruption and sin -who saw death as release from the imprisonment of a body—so the soul can escape -who mocked Paul with their questions (read vs 35) -so he took them head on (read vss 36-38) So how is it the resurrection occurs? A. HOW DOES THIS BODILY CHANGE HAPPEN? -Paul is saying--look in front of you—at something as basic as botany 1. everybody knows a SEED’S LIFE springs from its death -seed—like our bodies—shows little promise -but when put in the ground—something amazing, unexplainable—even miraculous happens -the principle of life shifts from seed to plant -and in the process--there is this radical transformation -one day it will be put in the ground—and at some point in the future something amazing, unexplainable—even miraculous--will happen -it will rise to new life by the will of God -a new creation—a new mode of physicality Meaning what? B. WHAT KIND OF BODY WILL IT BE? -I want to know—after all—I will be in this next body forever -over the centuries—there has been lots of assumptions -for God does not give an exhaustive answer -religious speculators of an earlier era pictured spiritual bodies as benign, pale faced, angelic figures in white robes, sporting wings -but this misses what Paul tells us here where he gives us at least 5 things-- -just as each body has its own identity, it own property unique to its domain -(the flesh given to humans is different from the flesh given to birds) -so—the resurrected body has its own “body” -meaning it is not a spruced up version of the old—it is radically different -it’s not the old prison with a new paint job -it’s not some recycled product -it is its own unique creation -suited perfectly to the ecology of the new earth-fit for life in the presence of God -but what does this mean? -having its own “properties”, will our resurrected bodies all look the same? -in other words—will we all be fashioned from the same angelic template? -Paul’s words hint at something different -that just as each seed has its own plant body—(rye seed leads to rye plants—redwood seed leads to redwood trees) -so whatever we were as seed will give some definition to what emerges from the ground -Paul’s phrase in 42a “as stars differ from stars” might be another hint -that each resurrected body will have distinctions -the resurrected Jesus had recognizable qualities -suggesting some continuity -in other words--things that shaped us on this side of eternity will follow -be it our personality—our recognizable features -be it our skills -maybe musicians will still write music -engineers will still construct -sanguine and choleric types will still be sanguines and cholerics—just without the sin -our new bodies will be immortal, indestructible, incorruptible -like going from a perishable tent to a permanent building (2 Cor 5) -this “new building” will no longer be subject to decay, sickness—colds, flues, cancer, osteoporosis -no more injury, decay—no more pimples, dandruff, cramps, hot flashes, cold flashes -no more ear aches, back aches, side aches, headaches, toothaches -no more insulin injections, no more tablets, pills -no more Lipitor, Celebrex, Zyrtec, Claritin, Rogaine, Viagra -there will be no pharmaceutical companies in heaven—pharmacists will out of work, along with doctors, nurses, hospice workers, physical terrorists (I mean therapists), funeral directors—as well as pastors -the body will no longer subject to the shame of frailty -to the process of death -to the corruptive work of sin—NO LONGER ABLE TO SIN -no longer marred by self centeredness, pressured by greed, prone to lie, tempted by lust -we will not have to prove our worth—we will see one another as God sees us -there will be understanding without error, light without shadow, memory without forgetfulness, joy without sorrow, pleasure without pain -all are implied in this term “imperishable” -sown as something rather inglorious, lowly, humble -it will be raised into something impressive, weighty, majestic -something of unparalleled beauty -there will be a radiance -purged of all the dregs of earth, blemishes and deformities -we will shine like the sun-Matt 13:43 -like the brightness of the expanse of heaven-Dan 12:3 -Paul writes in Phil 3:21-He will transform our lowly bodies so that we will be like His glorious body -despite what we do at the gym—the present body will always be defined by its weakness -powerless against illness, injury, decay -but the resurrected body will not be associated with such limitations and weaknesses -it will no longer fail us -it will no longer be winded or tired—needing Zipfizz, Get Goin, Monster Energy, or Red Bull -it will be a body with endless energy -a body no longer subject to the ravages of time, constrained by space -no longer dealing with weak spots or draw backs—feebleness or flimsiness -raised with sort of power that will make “strong as an ox” an insult -by spiritual—this does not mean the resurrected body is nonphysical--like vapor, something ethereal -it would make no sense than to speak of a body -what emerges is a body of some kind of physicality -but what was once animated by the soul is now animated, empowered, sustained by the Spirit -suited for life in divine kingdom, life on the new earth APPLICATON So what does this mean for us? -Paul will get to that at the end of the chapter -but here are two implications of a resurrected body… -that as difficult as life can be this side of eternity -we are not saddled with these things forever -I once visited a man who for ten years could not move due to Lou Gehrig’s Disease -our great hope is that there will be release -we will receive the body we always wanted -and if God is investing so much in a future body for life on a future earth--imagine the life it will be! -think about the world it will live in! -Outside Magazine’s most extreme adventures will seem like playing in a sandbox 2. DISCIPLESHIP INCLUDES A RESPECT FOR THESE BODIES -for the resurrection reaffirms that we will always be defined—in part—by our bodies -and what we do with them ultimately matters to God -in fact--the body lies right at the center of our spiritual lives-Willard -for our bodies are both the primary barrier to conformity to Christ -as well as the primary instruments for serving Him -the primary instrument for life on the other side Point—we speak warmly about going to heaven -but ignore the resurrection of the body -and therefore ignore the responsibility to honor these bodies -the body is not for fulfillment of our lusts -not to be misused, abused -when Jesus died on the cross—His blood purchased our bodies—I Corinthians 6:20 -when we stand to one day give account—we will give account for the deeds “done in the body” —2 Corinthians 5:10 -hence He calls us to glorify God with our bodies -present them as living sacrifices—Romans 12:1


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