1 Corinthians 15:42-44, “42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
In verses 42-44 the Apostle Paul draws out a contrast of what our future, glorified bodies will look like one day when Jesus returns. But, first lets remember the big picture: When you believe in Jesus you will be eternally with Jesus. At some point your life on earth will come to an end, and the moment that happens your soul is face to face with Jesus for eternity.
You’re not laying in the ground waiting for Jesus to return, you’re not playing thumb wars until Jesus returns, you’re not floating around watching the funeral until Jesus returns, or playing tricks on your siblings as a mischievous angel. You are with Jesus!
But, and I am not sure I fully understand this, in that moment you will be with Jesus, and at the same time longing for the day your body is raised in glory. You can look at 2 Corinthians 5 to read more about this on your own, but even though we are with Jesus we will be longing for the day when we will be united with our bodies raised in glory.
Therefore, in verses 42-44 the Apostle Paul is describing what those glorified bodies will look like one day when Jesus returns. Today we see a perishable body, but in glory we will see an imperishable body. The word “imperishable” means incorruptible and unceasing. Right now my mom is in a facility for Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia, but one day, all those who are in Christ will be raised imperishable.
Today we see dishonor, but one day we will see our bodies raised in glory. Right now we see our physical bodies hurting ourselves, hurting one another, and bringing dishonor to the God of Scripture. But, one day, when Jesus returns, we will be eternally pleasing.
Today we see weakness, but one day we will see our bodies raised in power. I remember when we had newborn children I was so sad because I couldn’t sleep as long as I wanted to sleep, and I dreamed of the day when our children would be older, and I could sleep 10-12 hours a day, but now that I am into my 40’s those days are gone.
When I hit 40 there were parts of my body that just started hurting. Now, I wake up at 6am with headaches, knee aches, backaches, and it is because our bodies are physically weak, but one day our bodies will be raised in glory. One day our bodies will be eternal.
First, you need to see the emphasis is on a “body.” The word, “body” is repeated 6 times in these verses to make it really clear we don’t become Casper the ghost. We don’t become angels. We don’t become a force of energy. We have bodies that are physically raised in glory.
Also, the word “sown” is used because our physical bodies are like seeds laid into the ground and one day our bodies will sprout forth from the earth in glory. Can’t you imagine what it might like one day?
But, the key to remember, the key to see, the key to understand in verses 42-44 is that there must be an active agent of transformation in your life. Left alone humanity will continue in the trajectory of perishable, broken, weak, bodies, and we can insert some behavioral modification. We can insert some Kale. We can insert better education. We can insert better politicians. But, none of those modifications disrupt the trajectory of humanity.
Our only hope is if the God of Scripture somehow brings an active agent of transformation into our lives, and His name is Jesus. If Jesus’s story never intersect your story than all of these words are just poetical words to read at a funeral.
This is what makes Jesus so important. It is by grace through faith in Jesus that the glory of God enters into your biological ecosystem that begins the process being described in verses 42-44. The Apostle Peter writes, “In Christ, we become partakers of the divine nature of God.” We are given a plug of God’s glory placed inside your mind, body, and soul, and when we are in Christ His glory is overtaking us until the day Jesus returns and our body is raised in glory.