Fourth Sunday after Easter – Monday
How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? – 1 Corinthians 15:35.
Some doubting man may say: “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Are they not dust and ashes? You fool, if God in His Word promises anything, would you then doubt His ability to perform it? That which you sow in your field, must it not first die and decompose before it germinates and is quickened and sprouts? You say: Yes, but this germinates in the midst of decomposition, and I see no germination in corpses. No, you see nothing of that in corpses; but notwithstanding God will bring about life and resurrection.What is the limit to God’s omnipotence?
As to your question, with what manner of body the dead shall come forth from the grave, let me refer you again to the seed which you sow in your field. Is the seed which you sow the body which shall be and rise from that seed? Will the seed come forth just as you cast it into the ground? Certainly not! This is but a bare grain, say, of wheat or some other grain. But God gives to the seed, when it sprouts, a body as it has pleased Him, as He has determined; to every seed He gives its own body. Do but look at the seed you sow. You drop it into the ground. Now it sprouts. How? First there is the young green blade. Then it grows into an ear. After that there is the full grain in the ear. How different is the grain when it shoots up from the seed that is laid into the ground! How much more glorious is the body it receives when it comes forth! And yet that quickened body is the very body of the seed that has been laid into the ground. Is it not?
Likewise, our body will not rise just as it has been laid into the ground. Far from it! It will rise infinitely more glorious. And yet it will be the same body that was laid into the ground. And let us greatly rejoice, because in the resurrection we shall know full well that we are ourselves again. For we are human beings, not the fruit of the field. Already now, we can boldly confess with our fellow believer Job: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins [my organs] be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27).
PRAYER – Lord God almighty, I am waiting, with great anticipation, for the great day of the resurrection of all the dead. On that day, most mightily and miraculously and gloriously wilt Thou raise me up from my grave and lead me into the perfect joy of paradise. While I am still in this world, remind me again and again of the words of my dear Savior: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28). Amen.
Jesus Christ, my sure defense, And my Savior, ever liveth; knowing this, my confidence,
rests upon the hope it giveth; though the night of death be fraught, still with many an anxious tho’t.
I am flesh and must return, unto dust whence I am taken; but by faith I now discern,
that from death I shall awaken, with my Savior to abide, in His glory, at His side.
Glorified I shall anew, with this flesh then be enshrouded; in this body I shall view,
God, my Lord, with eyes unclouded; in this flesh I then shall see, Jesus Christ eternally
(TLH) 206, st. 1 and 4-5