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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Eternal Life, #6
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (Isaiah 26:19)
Adam and Eve perished. Their bodies decayed and returned to the dust. The bodies of all the patriarchs and prophets, as well as of the wicked, have returned to the dust.
But the dust of the righteous is as "the dew of herbs," for Christ has come so we may not perish but have everlasting life. This is the Christian Gospel, the Good News of the entrance of the Kingdom of Heaven, of salvation, of eternal life, into the dead material creation.
Notice in the preceding verse the accent on the raising of the body. The definition of resurrection is "the reviving of the body."
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, (Matthew 27:52)
". . . many bodies . . . arose"!
Paul is declaring that since by Adam came the death of the body, by Christ came the reviving of the body. By Christ came the reversal of the physical death that came upon Adam and Eve.
The fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians has to do with clothing our physical body with immortality, with putting incorruption on our corrupt body, with changing, making new, the body that was born from our mother.
The material creation will be redeemed and glorified by clothing it with eternal life, with the Life of God—the same Life that raised Christ from the dead. Our physical body will come forth from the grave, as was true of the Body of Christ.
Reviving the physical body, standing it on its feet in the Presence and blessing of God, as we have said, is a central issue of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Gospel is the Good News that physical death has been abolished. Through the Lord Jesus dead mankind can gain immortality. There will be no more physical death (Revelation 21:4).
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (II Timothy 1:10)
Paul taught that the body we have now is not the body we shall have in the resurrection. Does this mean we shall have a different body?
If we are to be given a different body, the Body of Christ, born of Mary, would still be in the cave of Joseph of Arimathea. There would be no resurrection from the dead.
Notice what Paul said:
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: (I Corinthians 15:37)
Paul was responding to those who were asking foolish questions about the state of their bodies in the resurrection, just as the Sadducees did. These inquirers were not considering the tremendous changes that must take place when Divine Life is infused into their flesh and bones.
"A man does not sow stalks of wheat," Paul argued, "but seed." So it is true that the body we have now is seed. The body that we shall have in the Kingdom of Heaven will proceed from our present body as the stalk of wheat comes from the planted seed.
To be continued.