It seems that in the last few months many of my friends and co-workers have experienced the loss of a loved one. There is always that period of grief that encompasses many different stages as they adjust to their loss. Truth is that the sometimes used “in time it will get better”, never really holds up. For most of us we learn to just “tolerate” the loss, the pain is never very far away. Some time ago during my daily devotion I was directed to 1st Corinthians chapter 15. I refer to it as the resurrection chapter and find it strangely comforting. One of my favorite Bible study commentaries Is William Barclays’ Daily Bible Study , from which I share these points .
The verses I refer to are 35-49. Barclay points out that Paul is talking about things that no one really knows anything about. He is talking not about verifiable matters of fact, but about matters of faith. Trying to express the inexpressible and to describe the indescribable, he is doing the best he can with the human ideas and human words that are all that he has to work with. People are asking him to explain what the resurrected body will be like and Paul’s answer makes three points that in some strange way can give us comfort.
Paul uses the analogy of a seed. A seed is put in the ground and dies, but it soon rises again; but with a very different kind of body from that with which it was sown. The seed dies but when it rises again it is in a very different form.
So, our earthly bodies will dissolve; they will rise again in very different form – but it is the same person who rises.
To me this in some way moves “dust to dust” to a different level, a bit gentler perhaps? Dissolved by death, changed by resurrection, it is still we who exist. His second point is that in the world we know each part of creation has its own body and God gives to each thing a body that serves it best. If that is so, it is only reasonable to expect that he will give us a body fitted for the resurrection life.
For me Barclay brings forth a lovely thought in contrast to the mystery of death and our fear of it. His third point reminds us that through Jesus Christ we shall rise again to a new life in Christ.
Now, under the old way of life, we were one with Adam, sharing his sin, inheriting his death and having his body; but, under the new way of life, we are one with Christ and we shall therefore share his life and his being. It is true that we have a physical body to begin with, but it is also true that one day we shall have a spiritual body.
Our body will be spiritual, it will be such as God knows that we need, and we will be like Christ.
Those words in italics are quoted directly from William Barclay’s DBS