The chorus of a popular worship song by Chris Tomlin begins: “And I will rise when He calls my name / No more sorrow, no more pain.” The song looks forward to the day when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. It will be a day when the old order of things will pass away and God will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21:4).
Our last study for the month focuses one of the most important features of this new order: the resurrection of the believer. Resurrection is the capstone of the believer’s redemption experience. The bodily resurrection of all believers signals Christ’s complete and final victory over sin. Death is the last enemy to be defeated (1 Cor. 15:26).
The Corinthians had difficulty grasping the idea of bodily resurrection. Some Greek philosophers taught that the material and the spiritual realms were fundamentally incompatible. Consequently, the Corinthians wanted to know how such a resurrection could take place and what kind of body it would produce. Paul explained that the believer’s resurrected body will be both like and unlike the bodies we have today.
Using analogies drawn from the natural world, he showed that the body believers will receive in the resurrection will be suited to their new eternal state. It will be an imperishable and glorious body that is raised in power (v. 43). It will be a body like Christ’s (vv. 46–49).
This change is necessary because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (v. 50). But this does not mean that the resurrected body is one that is merely spiritual. If we will be like Christ in the resurrection, then we will have a physical body. Christ’s resurrected body was physical, consisting of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).