Our bodies are important to God and us. God created our bodies because they are good. Our loved ones we held, hugged and kissed in their bodies. We sat in the laps of our parents. I embrace and kiss my beautiful wife. I gathered my children to me and hugged, kissed, played cowboys, knights, wrestled and tucked them in the bed at night. We touch one another’s soul while we live in our bodies.
Our society emphasizes young, lean, healthy bodies. We glamorize them in magazines and videos. We exercise and eat healthy to keep the body in shape. It takes me a little more every year to stay in shape. We try to motivate one another to stay in shape. But we don’t show these bodies aging and decaying in our magazines and videos. We can do better with good health habits. However, these bodies as they are will not inherit the kingdom of God. They are important but they will change! Sin has damaged us.
“Brothers and sisters, this is what I mean: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. What decays cannot inherit what doesn’t decay.” (1 Corinthians 15:50, GW)
When a believer dies, he doesn’t receive his resurrection body, more about that in moment, but they receive a body of some sort. We don’t float around as misty phantoms like the ghosts in the Harry Potter movies. When Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration they were in a recognizable body.
“[Jesus’] appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him. Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”” (Matthew 17:2–4, The Message)
Luke clearly identifies them as men.
“At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah—and what a glorious appearance they made!” (Luke 9:30–31a, The Message)
Our loved ones who have preceded us in death are not asleep but are filled with the memories of this life and a wonderful knowledge of Christ and his glory! Remember Jesus’ story of Lazarus and the rich man. In torment the rich man remembered his brother lack of knowledge and concern with their eternal destinies. Moses and Elijah speak with Jesus Christ about his sufferings. Jesus said, to the thief on the cross that on that very day they would be together in paradise.
When I meditate upon “Paradise” the thoughts of gardens, fragrance, verdant fruitfulness and streams come to mind. I truly don’t know if that is what is like, but, it’s paradise wherever Christ is and those who loved, worshipped and served him.
Your body was divinely created for the habitation of your soul. Believers who have died await the day when the resurrection takes place not as sleeping souls, suffering souls but with a recognizable body like Moses and Elijah and the elders in Revelation who are portrayed as casting down their crowns before the Lord in worship.
But there is more! Much more!
Read the following passage and it will encourage and enlighten you. We will be changed, transformed in an instant. Read this with delight!
“I’m telling you a mystery. Not all of us will die, but we will all be changed. It will happen in an instant, in a split second at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will come back to life. They will be changed so that they can live forever. This body that decays must be changed into a body that cannot decay. This mortal body must be changed into a body that will live forever. When this body that decays is changed into a body that cannot decay, and this mortal body is changed into a body that will live forever, then the teaching of Scripture will come true: “Death is turned into victory! Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” Sin gives death its sting, and God’s standards give sin its power. Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, then, brothers and sisters, don’t let anyone move you off the foundation ⌊of your faith⌋. Always excel in the work you do for the Lord. You know that the hard work you do for the Lord is not pointless.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–58, GW)
“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” (1 John 3:2, NLT)
What do I read in this?
Someday we will be like him! We will recognize one another’s voice, appearance, and have our memories but memories that are healed and understand the purposes of God!
Mary recognized the voice of the Savior in the Garden when he called her by name.
I have three backup drives and several small thumb drives to contain photos and videos of memories that I don’t want to forget. I backup my journal because I don’t want to forget. Imagine a redeemed memory filled with joy but ready to explore the unknown as well. Friends we will rejoice with. Families reunited. Best of all to behold the face of Christ!
Things that we can’t find a reason for now, then we will see and understand the loving purpose of God in our lives. We may go to our graves in faith not understanding some of painful things we have experienced. We have trusted in God’s providence. Then we will understand.
No limits in time! The limitations we are accustomed to will be gone. We will not be limited by time or space. Jesus’ appeared with the disciples when the doors were locked. Jesus suddenly disappeared after blessing the meal with the disciples at Emmaus. We shall be like him! The speed of light will be like my old VW diesel Rabbit. We affectionately called it the Turtle. Think where we want to be and we will be there. No longer rushing appointments or prayer because of demanding schedules.
Imagine a body which is no longer susceptible to disease, pain or death! Imagine a glorified body shining like with the glory of God! Imagine those you love who are now in the presence of Christ. Comfort yourself and one another with these truths. Let us live as the scriptures teach us with excellence and purity. Lets also prayerfully build relationships with those who have not experienced or understood God’s story of grace in Christ. Surely it will be one of eternity’s great joys to meet those who we have led to Christ.
Christ is coming!
Peace and Joy in our Lord!