Thursday, August 18, 2005

As I drifted off to sleep last night I tried to imagine my new body in heaven.

42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"[e]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we[f] bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."[g]
55"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"[h] 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:42-57.

I tried to imagine how I would identify myself without this earthly body. Will I recognize others if I know them only by their appearance? Or will I only recognize those I know well? It is difficult to imagine oneself without a body, we are so accustomed to deciding who we are based on our appearance.

I suppose people came to think of heaven as a light and fluffy place for a reason, even if they haven't clearly considered why. Part of it comes from imagining heaven up in the sky. But have you every thought how light you will fill when completely released from the grip of sin? As Christians, we are already released, but we still feel the weight of sin. Satan still rules the earth, where we live, so we are surrounded by sin. We also suffer the consequence of our own sins, even if we are forgiven. But when we are finally free, how can we but fly home as light as we will be? No body, no baggage, just free to fly.

2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. 6Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. from Revelation 4.

When I worship or pray, I imagine myself before this throne and all its splendor. It is humbling and the promise it holds puts daily struggles in perspective.


Blogger violet said...

What a wonderful post! You ask great questions, like how we will recognize one another. Immediately the thought comes to me, it might well be by the spirit or atmosphere of us.

You know how each person's blog has a different feel to it? Some are whimsical, and some chatty and some sharp and witty etc. Well, I'm thinking it will be that sort of thing - only in the realm of how we relate to God.

9:53 PM, August 20, 2005  

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