I believe in: the Resurrection of the Body
I believe in...,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
We want to live!
There are things in this world, such as experiences of suffering, that make us want to leave it. When we are weighed down by pain and despair we may look for a way out.
The reason we look for a way out, in my estimation, is because our life doesn't feel like living. We feel so damaged and undone by life that we want to leave it behind.
The thing is, I reckon the escape we desire is not to nothingness, but what we would prefer is fullness of life, albeit untouched by the pain and difficulty that has scarred us so deeply.
All of us want life.
It is instinctual in us to push for survival, and to rescue others on the brink of death.
As we grow old and our bodies fail us, we remember the glory days of youth with vigour and vitality.
I'm sure I speak for many of us that we have considered the prospect: "What if I died today?" and have thought: "I'm not ready to die yet, there is so much more life I want to live!"
God has designed us to live. It is written it into our genetic and psychological profile. Human death seems so unnatural and unbelievable because eternity is written in our hearts! (Ecc 3:11)
Death was introduced to the human race through Adam (& Eve). They sinned, and the consequence of sin is death. Death pervades all humanity. But, even though we fairly brought this on ourselves, God wanted to restore His people to His good creation design: Life.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23).
Our hope for the future is not some trite notion of "I want to go to heaven when I die." Our Christian hope for the future is eternal life.
We want to live!
We want to live in the fullness of our God-given potential.
We want to enjoy all the goodness of life, with knowing our creator, enjoying good relationships and revelling in God's good creation.
The smell of pine trees and wildflowers.
The laughter invoked at the wit of a friend.
The awe that overpowers us marvelling at the Lord God.
All of this is part of life; to see and taste and touch and hear and feel and worship! And we need bodies for that!
Death is none of these things (Ps 88), and so we desperately need God to step in and undo the effects of death so that we may be freed from it's entanglement for an embodied eternal life.
The hope of Abraham when he raised the knife over Isaac was that God could undo death. And his hope was not in vain. (Heb 11:17–19).
The hope of David was that God would deliver him, even from Sheol to live in God's love (e.g. Ps 86:13). And his hope was not in vain.
The Hope of Ezekiel was that God would reincarnate his dead people (Eze 37:1-14). And his hope was not in vain.
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners - those who deserve death. Jesus came into the world to undo death!
And, He was successful! This is demonstrated by the way that, after His own death on the cross, He rose from death Himself. Death could not hold Him. And now, death cannot hold anyone who belongs to Jesus! Jesus was the first of many more to follow.
We Christians believe in the the resurrection of the body, because if we belong to Jesus, we must live. He is the God of the living, not the dead (Mk 12:27). One cannot belong to the source of life and yet be swallowed up in death.
Death is a temporary state for Believers. The day is coming when the world will be recreated and death itself is destroyed. But now we live and die in the world on it's last legs. We are waiting for the promised resurrection. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Pe 3:9). The longer the Lord waits, the more opportunities there are for His Gospel to spread and people to join His kingdom.
We are free to expend our lives on this earth in service of our Lord, because He has promised an eternal life for his people beyond the grave, in resurrected bodies!
"We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in 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. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When 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.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”