TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:35-58
Big Idea: “Just as we were born with an earthly body in this life, Christians are promised a heavenly body in the life to come.”
Because the Corinthians couldn’t explain how a dead person could be raised or what that new body would be like, some argued that the resurrection could not be real. So Paul takes time to teach them about the resurrection, and about the new bodies we will receive.
1. Our new bodies will be like a seed, transformed from death to life (v. 36-38)
Just as a seed must first “die” (be buried) before it grows, our natural bodies will die and be resurrected into a transformed body. And when a seed is planted, God is the one who grows it. God gives us Jesus and forgives us of our sins and gives us grace and blessing in this life. But God’s giving continues after this life is over by giving us new life and a new body.
2. Our new bodies will better reflect God’s image. (v. 39-43)
Some Christians in Corinth were confused. Probably because they used to worship idols and animals, some of them thought that if we are resurrected, we would come back as some other creature. So Paul reminds them that kind produces kind. We are made in God’s image, separate from all creation, more valuable than anything else God made. God shows value in that image by causing our new bodies to still look like human bodies, only better. Our new bodies will not die (imperishable), they will not sin (raised in glory), they will never get sick, tired or hungry (raised in power).
3. Our new bodies will be spiritual bodies. (v. 44-49)
That does not mean we will be like ghosts or spirits with no body. It means that our new bodies will be equipped to live in the spiritual world, like heaven. You and I are not simply flesh and blood. Your body is not who you really are. You have a body, and that body is important. But who you really are – your personality, your identity, is a spiritual being. Like Adam, our bodies were made from dust and they will return to dust. But Jesus came from heaven. After Jesus died, He did not return to dust like Adam. Jesus rose from the dead and returned to heaven. And those who follow Christ here on earth are promised to follow Him in His resurrection in the life to come.
4. Our new bodies remind us Jesus is victorious. (v. 50-58)
Jesus defeated death, and we are given the reward of eternal life. Jesus won the battle, and we receive the spoils. Jesus is the Victor, and He has given us the victory over sin, over death, over the grave, and we are given eternal life with Him forever! Because Christ is victorious, Christians can be confident in this life. We can be steady and unshakable and devote our hearts and hands to the work of the gospel right now, knowing that our labors are not in vain, our prayers are being heard, and our hope is secure.