New Bodies for OldScientists have made amazing advances in giving new arms and legs for lost ones, new eyes so the blind can see. Kidney and heart transplants help people extend their life spans. But someday, we shall have complete and perfect new bodies. Today we live in a literal body, but someday "When he comes back he will take these dying bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own" (Philippians 3:21, LB).
We are guaranteed new bodies because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. The central fact of our entire Christian theology is that Jesus rose! No amount of skepticism or alleged "Passover Plots" can blot out the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross and that in three days He arose from the grave. He appeared to the disciples in His post-resurrection body, walked through the doors they had locked in fear. Thomas, the disciple, was not there, and he said doubtfully, "I'll believe it when I see the nail marks in his hands and in his side." A week later Jesus passed through the locked doors again and said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe" (John 20:27).
Later Jesus had a fish dinner alongside the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. When He returned in His resurrected body He performed so many miracles, "If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written" (John 21:25).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees that we will someday have resurrected bodies. He will change or transfigure our bodies, as an ugly caterpillar is changed to a beautiful butterfly. We recognize the magnificent winged creature is the same living being as the fuzzy insect, yet different.
The resurrection is our great hope. In what is called "the great resurrection chapter" of the Bible, I Corinthians 15, Paul wrote, "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ – has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith... But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (I Corinthians 15:12-14,20).
The Christians at Corinth did not question that Christ had risen, but they evidently didn't believe others who had died would rise again. However, Paul paints a gloomy picture of what life would be like without belief in the resurrection. He said all preaching would be in vain, faith would be worthless, and all Christian belief would be false.
In one commentary on the epistles to the Corinthians, the writer said "I remember hearing a person say once that even if Christ had not been raised from the dead, he thought he would continue to live the Christian life because 'it would still be the best way to live.' But I wonder if he didn't say that because he could not conceive what it would be like to live in a world without the hope of the resurrection."
Our Patient Merciful God
The Bible and the Gospel speak of God's great mercy for us ...
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“Enter his gates with
thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him
and praise his name.