Early Christians believed that just as God raised Jesus's body from the dead, He will someday raise our bodies too, according to a column written today by bestselling author Eric Metaxas. His book Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy has been on the New York Times bestseller list this year. Metaxas writes a column for BreakPoint Daily.
Metaxas said, "In the end death will be defeated and the goodness of God's creation will be fully realized. How this will work is a mystery."
Historian Robert Louis Wilken has written that early Christians "believed that just as God raised Jesus's body from the dead, He will someday raise our bodies, too."
Wilken uses the term "transphysical" to characterize Jesus' resurrected body, which shared both continuities and discontinuities with His pre-ressurection body, saying, " His disciples could recognize Him, but He could also walk through closed doors! Something similar will be true of us as well. As Paul says, the perishable will put on the imperishable, and the mortal will put on immortality."
Metaxas said in his column that, "This belief meant, and still means, that how we treat our bodies, both in life and in death, matters. It's why, until relatively recently, some Christians were buried facing east toward Jerusalem. God's purposes for our bodies don't end with our final breath. On the contrary, something infinitely more glorious awaits us."
Dr. Isaac Butterworth said the basis for this is found in I Corinthians 15.
At 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 38, the Scripture says, "There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another."
Later in chapter 15, beginning with verse 51 also refers to the process, saying, "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed....in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and the mortal with immortality."
Anyone who has questions about the resurrection of our bodies may contact Dr. Isaac Butterworth at First Presbyterian Church of Wichita Falls, Texas. He is senior pastor of First Presbyterian which is located on Taft Boulevard directly across the street from Midwestern State University.
Anyone interested in receiving free updates of Western Religions articles should click on the subscribe link above this article. My readers may also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google.