“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, 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 15.42-44From Martin Hayward:
One of the unexpected and runaway TV hits during lockdown has been the programme called “The Repair Shop”. People bring in heirlooms and family treasures for expert repair. All items have seen better days but are of great sentimental value to their owners. They range from teddy bears to grandad’s bomber jacket and from music boxes to a village weather-vane. I find it interesting that each of the owners want the experts to restore the objects back to working order whilst leaving visible the signs of wear and tear that give them character, make them unique and are reminders of their provenance and history.
This week is Holy week, meaning that next Sunday is the day which reminds us that God is the master craftsman in charge of making all things new – starting when he brought back Jesus to life again from the tomb. It wasn’t some airy-fairy ghost that came back – it was really Jesus, but in a new but still recognisable body which was seen by hundreds who recognised him. His new body was real but different in some ways: he could now go and see his friends even though they were behind closed doors. He could cook and share a fresh fish breakfast with his disciples and, just like those tenderly renovated items from the Repair Shop, he still had the signs of wear and tear that made him unique. He could still show Thomas and the others his hands and feet and side: “The scars that speak of sacrifice”.
And the promise of the Bible is that what God did for Jesus, he will also do for us.
In the verses above, Paul tells us four things about our new bodies. First, we shall be raised imperishable. Unlike Lazarus who was raised from the dead only to have to go through the whole miserable business of dying once again, our new bodies will last for eternity. When we rise it will be in glory, in power and in a spiritual body.
Think about what this will mean for us and for all of our Christian friends who have had physical challenges restricting their lives in this world. Imagine how it will be when finally and fully, Jesus’ words come true and the blind can see, the deaf can hear, and the lame can walk.
Still recognisably ourselves bearing some of the patina from this life, what we have to look forward to is a new body that is adapted to life forever, a body designed to be fit to walk in peace and joyous harmony with Jesus and our Father into eternity.