Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Our Hope: The Resurrection of the Dead

The Bible clearly teaches that people who die before the Second Coming of Christ live on. Read Luke 16:19-31 and Philippians 1:20-24, for example. 

But their condition—separate from the body—is only temporary. As Jesus said it, “A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).

Evidently, this part of Christian expectation was central to the earliest believers. When Paul defended himself, he explained that he was on trial because of his hope in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6; 26:6-8).

Christians do not merely hope for the immaterial part of themselves to live on. Instead, what we hope for is the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23). 

It’s interesting. People find it difficult, even distasteful, to imagine life without a body. At the same time, what psychology and the physical sciences keep showing us is that all notions of a strict division between body and soul are misguided. The two are undeniably connected in ways that we do not fully understand. We do not have bodies. We are bodies.

The Christian hope includes being with the Lord when we die. But more than that, our hope is in the resurrection of the dead, the re-incorporation of ourselves, when the curtain of history comes down.

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