The Eternality of the Body

Among the Ancients it was the Greeks who were most fascinated with the human body—witness their sculpture and passion for sports. Yet it was these very men and women who scorned the idea of a physical resurrection when they heard it from the lips of the Apostle (Acts 17:32). Similarly our culture in North America is passionate about the human body and its various expressions—witness our sports, faddish diets, and the use of sex to promote everything from beer to cars. Yet, the preaching of the resurrection—“We believe in the resurrection of the body”—is rejected as nonsense or scorned as utterly naïve.

But such hope is what binds us to the community of saints throughout time. God’s people in the past had the conviction that with their bodily eyes they would see the King of glory. And with such a hope could they face down the complete disintegration of their physical frame.

Not for nothing has death sometimes been termed “the King of Terrors.” It seemingly destroys all that we are. The Christian, though, has a hope stronger than death: “sown in dishonour;…raised in glory;…sown in weakness;…raised in power;… sown a natural body;…raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:43-44).

Though this body, so essential to my sense of identity, crumble into dust, the living God knows every molecule and every atom. And He will, in time, refashion all of them into a body totally controlled by the Spirit of His Son and covered with His glory.

“But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day; The saints triumphant rise in bright array…”

(William Walsham How, 1823-1897)