Wednesday, March 26, 2008

1 Corinthians 15:29-41

Paul makes two major points in today's reading. In the first part of the passage Paul points out that it would be meaningless to live as a Christian if we were not to be resurrected. Often in this passage Paul uses himself as an example. Paul makes it plain that he would never endure the trials he lists for merely human reasons. Instead he would have subscribed to the philosophy, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Of course Paul is alluding to Isaiah 22:13 where the prophet rebuked his listeners for not taking the warnings of divine judgment seriously.

In the second part of today's reading Paul turns to some specific issues regarding the idea of a general resurrection. I like Paul's analogy of a seed. A seed must die before it comes to life. In other words, a seed must be buried as if it were dead before it grows into a plant or tree. The ability God gives a seed to overcome its burial should be reason enough for everyone to believe that human beings can be resurrected by God's will.

However, Paul is not finished with his seed analogy. When answering the question what kind of bodies will we have when we are resurrected, Paul again uses it. Paul points out that when people plant seeds they do not plant the body that will be - in other words a seed does not bear the shape and size of the full-grown plant. In fact a seed does not look anything like the plant it produces. Instead God gives it a body that He has chosen. Thus, Paul is saying that we in resurrection will have the types of bodies that God has chosen for us.

To conclude his point, Paul points out that God has given out many different types of bodies. The bodies of men, animals, birds, fish, heavenly bodies, earthly bodies, the sun, the moon, and the stars all differ from one another. God does not have any problem coming up with shapes, sizes, and textures for each item in His universe.

We should not worry about the questions Paul answers in today's reading. We do not have to come up with the answers as God already has.

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