As we wrap up our series on gardening with God, we know that Jesus changed everything. I remember when I was 16 years old, I understood that heaven was a real place. My friend Dusty used to say, before God called her home, that when you and I pass away we’re just changing zip codes. I believe God left a clue for us to show us what it’s like to die. It’s a symbol: The caterpillar and the butterfly. Look at this little creature that crawls on its belly, eats a whole bunch of stuff, and then goes into a cocoon and comes out a different creature. It’s like you can just picture the smile on God’s face as he creates the caterpillar which will turn into a butterfly. I believe He did that for us.
Alright, join me now in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, beginning in verse 35. This is Paul speaking to us today.
When I was a little girl, I remember snuggling under my strawberry shortcake comforter and being so afraid to die, but I’m not afraid anymore. Welcome to the Bible for Busy people. As we wrap up our series on gardening with God, Jesus changed everything. I remember when I was 16 years old and I understood that heaven was a real place. My friend Dusty used to say before God called her home, that when you and I pass away, we’re just changing zip codes. And this is my favorite way to picture it, by the way, before we dive into Paul’s letter, his first letter to the church in Corinth, I believe God left a clue for us to show us what it’s like to die. It’s a symbol. The caterpillar and the butterfly. Look at this little creature that crawls on its belly, eats a whole bunch of stuff, and then goes into a cocoon and comes out a different creature. It’s like you can picture the smile on God’s face as he creates the caterpillar which will turn into a butterfly. I believe he did that for us. Alright, join me now in first Corinthians chapter 15, beginning in verse 35. This is Paul speaking to us today.
But someone may ask, how will the dead be raised?
I’ve asked that before.
What kind of bodies will they have? What a foolish question. When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. Then God gives it the new body He wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. Similarly, there are different kinds of flesh. One kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind, and even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
This is almost poetic, isn’t it? Verse 42 now.
It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
Okay, whenever you feel afraid of death, this crops up from time to time. I know I’m human too. Remember the will be’s that we just read, our bodies will be raised in glory. They will be raised in strength. They will be raised as spiritual bodies. Picking it up in verse 45 now.
The scriptures tell us the first man, Adam,
Who we began the week with right in the Garden of Eden.
became a living person. But the last Adam – that is Christ – is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man was made from the dust of the earth,
Remember, we read about how God breathed life into him. Wow. It’s just amazing to consider.
while Christ the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever.
Another will be. We will be raised to live forever.
And we who are living will also be transformed for our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die. Our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this scripture will be fulfilled: Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh, death. Where is your victory? Oh, death. Where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God!
I’ve got the good chills now.
He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
I hope you’ve got the good goosebumps too. What you and I are reading today is really good news. We’re going to get new bodies, and just as the seeds that go into the ground, look nothing like the fruits and the vegetables and the flowers that they grow into, it’s the same for us. It makes me want to cry. There’s so much hope. You don’t have to be afraid to die. We’re going to get a new body. God has left us clues and he has left us His Word to give us hope. And I want you to think about Jesus for a moment with his resurrected body. Remember, he would just enter a room, like the doors were locked and suddenly he just appeared to the followers. Remember, we read this right after Easter. Our bodies are going to be different. He ate. He said something like, does anybody have anything to eat? And I want you to know today, if your door is locked up tight in disbelief and in doubt, there’s an invitation. He wants to come into your heart and open it to his love and forgiveness. In one Corinthians chapter five in verse 17, it says that,
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.
Oh, there is so much hope for you now on this earth and forever. We’re going to get a new body. Oh, all right. Until next time, you are loved.
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