#DailyDevotion Jesus Is Raised Bodily And So Will You Be
1Co 15:12-20 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (13) But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. (14) And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (15) We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. (16) For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. (17) And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (18) Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (19) If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (20) But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
It is a sad consequence of our times that few Christians hear about the resurrection of the dead. There are probably two causes that most likely feed into it. One is pastors simply never talking about it. We talk all about dying and going to heaven (which we do in certain respects) but we fail to finish the story. Yes, grandma and Timmy are with God and Jesus now in the spirit but God does not intend for them to remain that way. It is God’s intention to raise grandma and Timmy from the dead! The other cause is the multitude of popular and unpopular movies, TV shows, magazines, books etc. that only talk about going to heaven (probably because their former and/or present pastors only talked about heaven).
So to, the Gnostic spirit of Paul’s day, believed material to be evil so many people believed that we died, shed this shell and became pure spirits and went to heaven. But Paul corrects their and our thinking in these verses.
If we are not raised from the dead on the last day, bodily, then Jesus is not raised from the dead. Certainly on at least Easter we preach Jesus is raised from the dead. Did we miss it? Did our pastors spiritualize his resurrection? Certainly it is the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead but Jesus really is raised bodily from the dead. He was flesh and bone when he met with his disciples. If we are not going to be raised bodily from the dead then Jesus isn’t raised from the dead bodily. If Jesus isn’t raised from the dead bodily then you are still in your sins because Jesus did not bear them on the cross. Your faith in Jesus is futile Paul says if you don’t believe you are going to be raised from the dead as Jesus is raised from the dead. If this is true then grandma and Timmy have perished. But this is not the case.
If we think we have the best life now because of Jesus we
are to be most pitied. While the Lord may certainly bless us with many good
things in this life, our greatest fulfillment in this life is having the
promise of a future resurrected life in the presence of God and his Christ. If
this life is it, we’re living the wrong way for it (if we are living as Christ
commands [cf Matt chs 5-7]) But that life only makes sense if we live forever
with Christ in our resurrected bodies. Jesus is coming back in his body. When
he returns, he is going to raise all the dead bodily. Those who trusted him
will be raised to eternal life and those who did not will be raised to eternal
perdition. We who are raised bodily to eternal life will live in the presence
of our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Being in their presence is heaven but
it will be a heaven on earth. As Paul says in 1 Thessalonians let the
resurrection of the dead comfort your family when they grieve, not just their
spirits are with God in heaven.
Almighty God and Father, fix in our hearts, minds and spirits the comforting message of the resurrection that is may comfort us and conform our lives to you gracious will so that on the last day we may be raised to eternal life in our new resurrected bodies and dwell with you and Jesus for all eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.