“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.” (1 Cor. 15:35-42 ESV)
In Western cultures we have a tendency to treat the human body as if it were not very important. Quite a few people, even Christians, think of the body as something we should be glad to leave behind at death—a barrier between us and God. They imagine that in the life of the world to come, people will be purely spirits, without bodies at all.
But this isn’t what God says. God made us to be spirit and matter both. He likes our bodies, and He considers them to be part of us. In fact, God Himself chose to take on a body—when He was born among us as the baby Jesus, our Savior.
It was through His body that Jesus saved us, when He lay down His life for us on the cross. It was in His body that Jesus rose from the dead—not just a spirit or a ghost, but a living Man again. He keeps His body to this very day—He has not laid it aside. It will be His forever.
And that is the joyful promise that Jesus makes to us, everyone who believes in Him. We too will have our bodies back again, on the day when He returns and remakes the universe. Just as Jesus keeps His body for all eternity, so we will have our bodies—free from sin and sickness and death, perfect and wonderful. At that time we will finally see what a human being is supposed to be—body and soul in perfect harmony, the whole human race in incredible diversity and beauty. No one will need to be ashamed or afraid or in pain. We will be like Jesus, and with Jesus—and nothing could be better.
Do we know the details of exactly how this will all work? No. Paul makes it clear that there will be some differences from what we know now—as he says, the garden plant isn’t exactly like the seed that was planted. Things will be different. But God has His plans, and they involve glory. Our bodies have been redeemed by Jesus, just as our souls have—and so our bodies will glorify God and be a source of joy to us forever and ever.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for giving me my body, and help me to look forward to what You’re going to do with it in the resurrection. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on February 16, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. What do you like most about your body, right here and now?
2. What one change do you look forward to in the resurrection?
3. What does it mean to you, knowing that Jesus chose to take on human flesh and that He is keeping His body for all eternity?