Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Resurrection, part 7

And now I want to talk about bodily (or physical) resurrection. I’m going to talk about both the general resurrection, and specifically the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection is the model for our resurrection.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of his glory, by the exertion of the power that he has even to subject all things to himself (Philippians 3:20-21).

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him just as he is (1 John 3:2).

And just as we have born the image of the earthly [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [Jesus] (1 Corinthians 15:49).
If Jesus’ resurrection is physical, then so is ours. If ours is physical, then so is Jesus’.

I have already mentioned Romans 8:11. It says, “But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who indwells you.” The object of the resurrection in this verse is “your mortal bodies.” That means it is the bodies we now have that will somehow be transformed into immortal bodies at the resurrection. This verse shows both the physicality of the resurrection and continuity between the body that dies and the body that rises. It’s the same body albeit transformed.

In talking about the resurrection, Jesus had this to say: “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; those who did good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29). Just as the Old Testament showed, this passage shows that the object of the resurrection is the bodies lying in their graves. Jesus says they will come forth from tombs. I’m starting to feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but remember that when I did this outline, I was thinking about Jehovah’s Witnesses. They deny that the resurrection has anything at all to do with the body that dies.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about 1 Corinthians 15:35-58.

Part 8

2 Comments:

At 12/06/2005 5:52 AM , Blogger Steve said...

is it possible that the words used to describe the body of christ are not meant to be taken literally?

I mean, do we have to assume it means physical body?

Even in the earlier examples of Razin, I can say the tossing of entrails into the crowd as being a symbolic gesture, not necessarily to be taken literally.

You've said that you dont agree with N.T. Wright's argument of of a metaphor relating to a return from exile.

But how do we know the references to rising from the dead do not refer to some other metaphore, or some other interpretation?

 
At 12/06/2005 6:13 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Steve,

The word "soma" in the New Testament seems to be used in two ways. It's used to refer to the church as the "body of Christ," so it's used metaphorically in that sense. But then it's also used to refer to physical bodies.

Some of these writers seem to go to extremes to show that they are quite literal when talking about the physicality of resurrection. This is especially so in the case of Jesus which I'll get to shortly.

In the case of Ezekiel 37, the reason I think the reference to resurrection is literal is because God uses resurrection to explain the vision. The resurrection is part of the interpretation of the vision. If the resurrection is just a metaphor, then it isn't really an interpretation; it's just a metaphor of a metaphor that requires a further interpretation that is never given.

 

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