Death and Resurrection; October 4, 2018

1 Corinthians 15:49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

To be honest, the whole issue of how we will live after death has never bothered me particularly, but it concerns a lot of people and some of them obsess over it. From verse 35 on Paul lays out a very logical explanation of how it will be, and then summarizes it all in this verse. Thinking about the abilities Jesus demonstrated after His resurrection, I’m looking forward to it! My take on it is the elimination of limitations. I’ve worked with people with a wide variety of handicaps, and the idea of them being liberated from those is very comforting. Specifically, my wife created a support group for families of children with Cockayne Syndrome in Japan. Since rapid aging is one of the many symptoms of that syndrome, we’ve lost a lot of those kids since we started 23 years ago. The idea of them frolicking in heaven without any of their limitations is a very joyful one to me. (And no, I am not bypassing the necessity of salvation in Christ. I do believe the vast majority of those children do not reach the spiritual age of accountability.) One thing I find very interesting about Jesus’ resurrected body is that He could and did eat. (Luke 24:41-43) I don’t think it was necessary for Him, but it was possible, so I presume the same will be true for us. However, all such considerations are completely overshadowed by the glorious reality that we will have nothing in the way of full fellowship with our Lord. That’s certainly worth looking forward to!

This is naturally personal for me, as it is for every human being alive. When my father died, my genuine first reaction was, he won’t have to retire. When my mother died, I was thankful she was released from her cancer. When my wife died (the first time) I didn’t know it, but am very grateful the Lord sent her back for a while, but from what she experienced, I know I shouldn’t be selfish about it when she goes again. For myself, I’ve already lived six years longer than my father did, and I find myself with full empathy for Paul’s position, expressed in Philippians 1:20-26. There are challenges and rewards in this life, but they are certainly no more than a prelude to the next. My wife informs me that we will be able to recognize people in heaven, which is nice, but even that fades in the face of my anticipation of being with my Lord.

Father, thank You for Your incredible grace. Thank You for the Bible, to clear up many of the questions we naturally have. Help us all release the things we don’t know, can’t know yet, to You, trusting that Your plans for us are glorious beyond our imagination. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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