Fourth Sunday after Easter – Wednesday
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. – 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.
This is what the Holy Ghost says concerning the glory which your body will have when it rises from the grave. Now your body is corruptible, of a corruptible nature; the fire of corruption glows within it and comes to the surface now and then, and it will decay altogether in the bowels of the earth. However, on the day of resurrection it will come forth with life incorruptible.
Now your body, God’s own creation, is dishonored, and it will lie in the earth in a most horrible and despicable state. However, on the day of resurrection it will be all glory and splendor. Now your body is in weakness; any accident may destroy it, a little disease germ may kill it. However, on the day of resurrection it will be endued with eternal power. And still more. Now your body is a natural body, “eating, drinking, sleeping, digesting, begetting children, etc.,” as Dr. Luther puts it, but on the day of resurrection it will be a spiritual body, “requiring,” to quote Luther again, “none of these things, and yet being a true body, alive with the spirit.” As surely as you now have a natural body, so surely shall you then have a spiritual body. For consider, the first man, Adam, from whom you are descended; he “was made a living soul” (I Corinthians 15:45 a), made for natural life, but “the last Adam” (v. 45b), Christ, with whom you are united through faith, through His resurrection entered upon a spiritual life; His human body is pervaded and made spiritual by His divine nature and Spirit.
Here you behold a twofold condition of the human body: the natural and the spiritual. Nevertheless, “that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; afterward that which is spiritual. The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy; the second Man [Christ], is the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47), and hence, indeed, for the heavenly life. “As is the earthy [Adam], such are they also that are earthy” ( 1 Corinthians 15:48 a). While we live on this earth, we have a natural body like Adam. And “as is the heavenly [Christ], such are they also that are heavenly” (v. 48b). When we rise and enter heaven, we shall have a spiritual body like Christ. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [Christ]” (1 Corinthians 15:49).
On the day of resurrection our body will be incorruptible, all glory, all strength, entirely spiritual, yes, spiritual, no longer subject to the laws of this natural life, but fitted for the heavenly life, glorified, made heavenly, like unto Christ’s glorious body. “For our conversation [our way of life] is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile [humble] body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).
Oh, what a wonderful, sure, and certain hope and confidence we have from our God through Christ Jesus, our perfect Savior and Substitute!
PRAYER – O my Lord and God, I cannot comprehend it now, but I shall most certainly live to see and experience and enjoy this certain hope from Thee. Thy Word, which does not fail nor pass away, assures me of this sure hope. Oh, my Lord and Savior, let me be and remain Thine own unto my end, continuing in Thy Word that I may obtain and behold what now I long for in faith, until I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness. Amen.