1 Corinthians 15:48-53

In 1 Corinthians 15:48-53 Paul continues to talk about the resurrection and school us on things we need to understand. We don’t have a lot of places to look to understand what will happen at the resurrection except for what we can learn from Jesus. “As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” The only example we have of what a resurrection body will be like is to see what Jesus’ resurrection body was like. The resurrection body of Jesus was material and could eat, yet it was not bound by the laws of nature. It’s likely ours will be similar when that day comes.

Paul draws a line in the sand that our earthly bodies will never enter the Kingdom of God – Heaven. For that to happen we will need to be resurrected and given a new heavenly body. “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” Our current bodies are subject to disease, injury, and one day decay, and as such are unsuited for heaven. For us to enter God’s presence and spend eternity with Him, we’ll need to receive our heavenly bodies which will no longer be impacted by the many challenges that we face today.

Death is a part of life. We all know it will happen. Paul explains the different ways God will provide us our new physical and perfect body. Since sleep is a softer way of describing the death of a believer, Paul tells us that not all Christians will die, but there will be a “final generation” who will be transformed into resurrection bodies at the return of Jesus before they ever face death. “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” He calls this a mystery because the Corinthian church would not figure it out on their own. It is only by God’s revelation through Paul that enables them, or us, to understand what is ahead.

Great things are ahead for those who believe. In a single moment, Jesus will gather His people (both dead and on the earth) to Himself, for resurrection. “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” The remarkable, instant gathering of Christians unto Jesus in the clouds has been called the rapture, after the Latin word for caught up. There will come a day when in God’s eternal plan, He gives those dead in the Lord their resurrection bodies, and then in an instant He gathers all His people to meet Jesus in the air. “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” We only get to heaven by taking on our new immortal resurrection body!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: