R is for…..Resurrection

18th October 2020

Meaning ‘The act of arising from the dead and becoming alive again’ according to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/resurrection

Do you want that? Well, I wouldn’t want to be a zombie, the living dead. But I wouldn’t mind being young again, but with the wisdom I have gained over the years. Strong and fit, able to go places without lockdown restrictions.

Or how about like Superman and fly around the world. Or even fly faster than the speed of light to distant galaxies.

Sounds like fun to me. But is it a pipe dream, pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die?

Well, only what is called Christianity seems to truly put this forward as a reality. There is reincarnation which is a central tenet of Indian religions, but you might come back as an ant and get trodden on, or eaten by an anteater. Endless lives as man or beast or wee beastie. Don’t fancy that myself.

The Jews of Jesus’s day split into two camps it seems, at least amongst the leaders and teachers. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection and were sad u see? It’s an old joke.

Then there were the Pharisees who did believe it would happen. They were Phar-ri-sees, far seeing people who ‘ried’ or laughed, as in ri in French for laughed. I find that the thought of resurrection certainly makes me smile, if not laugh.

But what does it mean in practical terms? The apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians sets it out well in chapter 15.

I won’t attempt to persuade you of the reality of Jesus’s resurrection as this has been done far better elsewhere. But Paul makes the point that if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then His followers might as well go home and ‘Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’.

Perhaps tomorrow will never come as Vitalstatistix, the Gaulish chief in the Asterix the Gaul books said. But it does, and we get older.

Paul argued that he would not have suffered for the good news about Jesus if it wasn’t true. Okay, so let’s say Jesus did rise from the dead. And that we will rise from the dead. What kind of body shall we be given?

This question is addressed by Paul starting at verse 35. Whilst he may not always be clear without some careful thought, in essence he is saying ‘Idiot! You were born human, and so you will come back human’.

So not as an ant, or a pig or a tree. A real human. Only this time you will be superhuman; immortal, glorious, powerful, spiritual, imperishable.

Paul says flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God; so does that mean we will not, in any sense, be physical? After all, in our current bodies we need blood to live.

Well, Jesus says as recorded in Luke 24 v39 ‘Touch Me and see— for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’

In 1 John 3 v2 it says ‘We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.’

In 1 Corinthians 15 v51 it says ‘Now I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.’

So we will be like Him, flesh and bone. But if not with blood, what then?

In the gospel of John 8 v12 Jesus says ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.’

Light is life, and it follows without blood we must have light instead. This makes sense of the Bible where it says in Daniel 12 v3 ‘Then the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.’

So when Paul talks of glory, he is thinking of shining stars. We can look at the stars with the naked eye on a clear night and marvel at their beauty. If we have the opportunity to view them through a telescope we are stunned by their magnificence.

And stars vary in glory as Paul says. Each has its own colour, and some are more magnificent than others, but no star is without beauty.

Thus it will be with us in resurrection, those of us who are wise and have followed Jesus Christ. We shall shine, literally shine.

You can get another idea of shining from what is called the transfiguration. It is recorded in Matthew 17 v2.  ‘There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.’

And in 1 John 3 v2 it says ‘Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.’

So there you are, it is quite simple. As regards what our new bodies will be able to do, we can get a good idea from the Bible.

In the Old Testament, three men were thrown into a furnace by the orders of Nebuchadnezzar which killed those who did the ‘throwing’. Yet those three men are recorded as having survived without the fire touching them.

With no smell of the fire upon them. Stand by a bonfire and you will know about it afterwards, but not in this case it seems!

Then Jesus walked on the water, walked through walls or doors and lifted off the ground when he was taken from the apostles’ sight at what is called the ascension. I call that flying!

And it is one thing to be walked in on when you are on the loo because you forgot to bolt the door, but quite another to have someone walk through a door and say ‘I do beg your pardon, I was just taking a short cut.’

Not that Jesus did that of course, but I want to make you think (and smile!).

I have referred earlier to the words recorded in Daniel 12 v3. However, the previous verse must be read to get the full picture. ‘And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt.’

You see, everybody will be raised, good and bad. The good to everlasting life, the bad to shame and everlasting contempt.

Jesus says the same in Matthew 24 vv31-46 which you can read yourself.

So not everybody will be raised to something glorious, some will be raised to something despicable. And you will need to decide which you want to be.

But this is a dessert, and I don’t want more than a slight twist of sharpness here.

I found this just now on. It is very good.

I do of course wish that people wouldn’t call themselves Father so-and-so, wear black garb and dog collars. This is contrary to Christ’s teachings and the heavenly Father hates it. But the post is true about resurrection.

Please note, we come back as male and female as God intended from the beginning, not transgender etc. etc.

However, it is not purgatory in the Roman Catholic sense that souls go from to visit heaven. In reality it is a corrupted earth which we can see in may places around us.

There is much more to be said but I will finish off with something fun. If you are Christ’s, and know where you are going why not dance to something?

How about Resurrection shuffle by Ashton, Gardener & Dyke?

Now I know some people might take some offence at the lyrics, but waving a V sign is what Winston Churchill did in World War II. Sticking your tongue out is not dissimilar when you are doing it to the Nastys (sic) who are back at their old tricks.

If this is not to your taste how about this, Shiny happy people by REM?

The refrain is worth quoting.

Shiny happy people holding hands

Shiny happy people holding hands

Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands

People, happy people

People

I am looking forward to resurrection day when I can dance with all you shiny happy people who will be there.

Shining, happy, people.