Wednesday, August 14, 2013


But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised?  With what kind of body do they come?”  You foolish person!  What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.  But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.  For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.  There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

So is it with the resurrection of the dead.  What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.  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.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.  The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.  As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.  Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold! I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 (ESV)

I am writing this piece more for my benefit than for anyone else.  I find that when I express my words on paper, I release something.  But if these words can in anyway help you the reader, then all the better.

Recently a good friend of mine passed away.  While our time together has been brief, and while I haven't been his closest friend, he has had an impact on my life none the less.  He is steady, and dependable.  He is intelligent and successful.  Out of all the people I've ever known, he has travelled to more places in this world than anybody else.  His dry wit is superlative.  He is generous.  He is kind.

Though he is all these things and more, he knows also his sinfulness and trusts in Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of those sins.  His faith is now clearer than ever.  Though he has been separated from his perishable body, his spirit waits with Christ for that day.  The day!  The trumpets will sound and Jesus will descend from the clouds to return once again.  There will be a new heavens and a new earth.  And my dear friend will put on immortality, alongside all those who have put their trust in Christ.

So today I mourn a death.  Tomorrow as well.  I don't know when I shall recover.  But I do know it won't last forever.  You see, my friend, while he is at this moment gone from my life, I know I will see him again.  For this is my hope as well.  Death is swallowed up in victory!

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