Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011 … New Bodies: I’m for That!

Passage of the Day: 1st 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.

My Journal for Today: My Dad died a few years ago; and in the last few years of his life, he was quite debilitated, living in a nursing care facility. Most of the time, with all his maladies, he had to have been miserable [at least from the way we all saw him live]. Yet all who came to see him where he resided in the Nursing Home, were taken by the “grace” he exhibited, always having something nice to say to that person. I can remember a few times when I flew up to spend a few days with him, we’d have times when we’d watch sports on TV together; but he seemed to be most at peace when I read to him from a passage which was initiated by today’s verse. It was 1st Cor. 15: 49 – 57; and I’d like to reproduce it here for your edification [and my remembrance of my Dad] …

SCRIPTURE: 1st Cor. 15: 49-57 ... And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the Man from heaven. 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." [from Isaiah 25: 8] … 55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" [the latter quote from Hosea 13: 14] 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

As my Dad sat in his chair in his room, wracked with pain from osteoarthritis, short of breath from emphysema, bothered by swallowing problems having had a jaw resection, and being quite weak from all his collective maladies, he used to say to me, “I sure like the idea of getting a new body in heaven.” And I could see the peace on his face from that prospect. Well, he may not have that new body quite yet in our timing, the rapture not having occurred in our time clock; but in God’s timing, my Dad being with the Lord now in that intermediate heaven where, upon death saints go to be with the Lord before He comes again for His church, my Dad certainly doesn’t have to worry about that old decrepit body of his.

Today’s passage, along with the promise found through Paul in Phil. 3: 21 certainly give all believers great hope, as those passages did my father, with the wondrous picture of the new image and body will have in heaven. Think about it! All who are born again in Christ will be reconstituted to become like the One Who revealed Himself to so many others after His resurrection … like the Messiah Who will come again one day (likely soon, I believe) to reclaim His wonderful Bride, the Church, for glory (see Acts 1: 11).

I often think about what Jesus was like when he appeared to others post-resurrection. He could disappear and reappear at will … to whomever and wherever and whenever He wanted. He could walk through walls. How cool is that?!! And when He needed to, He was recognizable to His loved ones, even carrying – I believe at His own choice – the scars from His time on the cross to convince doubters, like Thomas, of Who He really was; … and I personally believe, though I have no Biblical support, our glorified, resurrected, perfected, and completed body will be able to take on more than one physical form. However, it will always be visible and recognizable to all we knew and loved us in this life. And though our bodies will not likely look like that of Jesus (His will be so perfect and full of glorified light He will stand out above all in Heaven), our newly glorified bodies will have the completed elements that Christ has already formed for us and knows us as in His presence.

Our new life in heaven is going to be all too awesome, … for sure!! And having just had a hip-replacement with all the pain connected with its rehab, this prospect of a new body in heaven certainly has great appeal for this old sinner/saint.

My Prayer Today: The hope of newness, Lord, is in You. Amen

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