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The Transformation of Our Lowly Bodies.

We are continuing our meditation on 1 Corinthians 15, the topic of the incorruptible resurrection body that believers will receive at the return of Christ. When that Day comes, what God has molded us to be will be revealed. Paul wrote that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50), which means that the bodies of believers will no longer be perishable but imperishable (v. 53). Those believers on earth at the coming of Christ will be transformed instantly without going through the experience of death. When Christ comes, in a flash, in the blink of an eye's time, God will change us to be like Christ. Paul the apostle writes in a different place about this transformation of our bodies:


…the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Philippians 3:20-21).


The Greek word translated into English as transform is the word metaschēmatizō. It is a construction of two Greek words: meta, meaning a change of place or condition, and schēma is the word for shape or outward form. It means to transform or change the external form or appearance of something, refashion, or reshape.[1]


An imperishable body means that it won’t age or get sick. Our new bodies will be glorious all of the time. Believers in Christ will always have youthful strength and be radiantly beautiful with God's glory upon them. Just as Jesus walked through walls into the upper room where the door was locked in fear of the Jews (John 20:19), we also will be able to pass through walls and travel instantaneously, not bound by the physical realm. Our new bodies will not be limited to only one sphere of existence. We cannot comprehend this now, as we are limited to this dimension on earth, but just as a vast, sprawling oak tree cannot be compared to the acorn seed from which it grows, our spiritual bodies will transcend what we can imagine.


Paul wrote that our new body would be like Christ's glorious body (Philippians 3:21). This radiance upon us will be both authoritative and beautiful. Jesus said, "The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father” (Matthew 13:43. Emphasis added). It will also be a powerful body (1 Corinthians 15:43). I don't think this speaks only of strength, although that certainly will be part of it; there will be a power and authority to work the miraculous just as Jesus did and still does. We will participate with Him to do His will. Our bodies will be raised, and we will see His face and be transformed into His image. Daniel the prophet spoke of that time in this way:


1"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:1-3).


Daniel wrote that this would happen during a time of distress such as the world has never seen before. But at that time, everyone whose name is written in God’s book–will be delivered (v. 1). This deliverance of God's people, the rapture and resurrection of the saints, takes place at some time during the tribulation or time of distress (Matthew 24:21-29). Daniel goes on to say that those who invest their lives in touching others for Christ will be like the stars forever and ever. I cannot comprehend what it means to shine like a star, but it sure sounds like a reward that will be wonderful and worth our sacrifice, effort, and devotion to Christ. That which God has been doing on the inside of you and through you will be made known, and it will be glorious; the chrysalis of this old decaying body will put on an immortal body, just like our Lord's. It will be time to go home! Graduation day at last! There will be a glorious new beginning, for Christ is the First Fruit (1 Corinthians 15:23), and we shall be like Him. When that Day comes, may you be found in Him. Keith Thomas


Taken from the series Insights into Eternity. Click on study 3 or the link: The Resurrection Body.

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[1] Key Word Study Bible, AMG Publishers, Page 1651.


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