Continued from Part 1
started the last time addressing the topic "The Resurrection of the Saints" I am addressing it in commemoration of my wife who slept two years ago.
I asked the previous time we met, where have been, the people who were lowered into the grave one time or the other. I asked whether death is the end of man.
I argued that if death is the end of man, then it is pointless to preach, asking people to behave right. Anyone can just do whatever he likes; good or evil knowing that we are not accountable to anyone after we die.
I also pointed from the scripture that it is mere dust, we are looking at, when we look at any human being and dust is not the image of God. The image, which God made in His likeness is 'spirit' because God is Spirit.
We also read in the Scripture that we human beings are 'gods' (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34 ); small 'g', meaning 'small gods'
And if God is a Spirit, then we small gods are also small spirits
When God said "let us make man in our image" and He molded a carving from the dust, the carving was not His image. But after He breathed into the nostrils of the carving, the carving became a living soul. This is now the image of God. So, the spirit is the image of God.
So when it is said that someone dies and is lowered into the grave, it is the body, the house or the tent, which envelopes the spirit that is pulled down or dissolves into dust from where it is made but the spirit lives on because spirit does not die (2Cor.5:1-4)
Since I was talking about the Resurrection of the Saints, it was necessary I defined who a saint is particularly after the Bible has said clearly that there is none righteous and all our righteousness are just like a filthy rag (Rom.3: 10-18; Isaiah 64:6).
However, the Bible in the book of Hebrews chapter 9 says that "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins"(Heb.9:22).
So I defined a saint as someone who has had his sins covered by the shed blood of Jesus and start to live his life, consistent with the Scripture.
Later, I will address the question of the resurrection of the ungodly.
The question remains "where is the spirit of man after the envelope, the house or tent, where it has lived all his years on earth is pulled down and is lowered into the grave and returns to dust?
Let us pray.
The Resurrection of the Saints.
Where is the spirit of man after the envelope, the house or tent, where it has lived all his years on earth is dissolved, lowered into the grave and returns to dust?
Jesus told the story of a man recorded in St. Luke 16 who was rich on earth and another, Lazarus who was a diseased poor beggar. Both died. The poor beggar was taken to the bosom of Abraham while the rich man languished in hell.
Jesus, on the cross told the bandit on his right hand "Today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43)
Jesus knew that the bandit was due to die in a matter of moments and will be buried under the earth, so it was not the body of the bandit, that was going to be with Jesus in Paradise but his spirit.
In Paradise, like it happened to poor diseased, beggar, Lazarus, God shall wipe away all tears from the eyes of the conquerors; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: (Rev.21:4). The city has no need of sun or moon to light it, for the glory of God and of the Lamb illuminate it and there is no night! (Rev.21:23-25).
Henry F Lyte in his famous song "Abide with me, fast falls the eventide---" wrote in a section in verse 4, "Heaven morning breaks and earth's vain comforts flee---"
Another of our famous song, titled "Jesus lives thy terror now" said in a place "Death opens the way to life" But this is for those whose sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus. To those who still have their sins not forgiven, death is the way to everlasting suffering (Daniel 12:2; Rev. 21:8).
Someone will ask, why we weep, if the departing soul is on her way to eternal life. Simply, we miss her. Parting is a very difficult thing with someone who one has shared the chunk of his life with.
Paul in 11Cor. 5 said that at resurrection, those spirits who obey God on earth, God will give them a new body, a spiritual body that does not die.
So what kind of body is Paul talking about? How does it look like?
It is a new body, a body that does not die. This is the kind of body, which the poor, diseased, begger, Lazarus transited into as testified by Jesus.
Paul wrote further in 1Cor.15:
46 First, then, we have these tents, (human bodies), and later on God gives us spiritual, heavenly bodies. 47 Adam was made from the dust of the earth, but Christ came from heaven above. 48 Every human being has a body just like Adam's, made of dust, but all who become Christ's will have the same kind of body as His-a body from heaven. 49 Just as each of us now has a body like Adam's, so we shall some day have a body like Christ's.
And what type of body has Jesus after He resurrected?
It is a body that can disguise. It is a body that can enter a room, which is under lock and key, needing no one to open for him. A body that can appear and disappear at will.
What type of body has Jesus after He resurrected?
After Jesus resurrected, the disciples were fellowshipping inside a secure, locked room when Jesus appeared in their midst. He needed no one any longer to open the door for Him before He could enter. Closed door was not a barrier to Him in order to gain entrance.
That is the kind of body, which all saints who were once lowered into the grave now have. It is a kind of body, which I too and all who believe in Jesus will have one day.
What type of body has Jesus after He resurrected?
A body that can disguise at will!
Imagine Mary Magdalene, one of the closest friends of Jesus, not able to recognize Him at the grave side after Christ had resurrected until Jesus made it possible for her. Mary asked Jesus if He knew who took the body of Jesus not realizing she was talking to Jesus Himself. She recognized Jesus after He opened her eyes and called her "Mary" (St.John 20)
Imagine two of His disciples, who He had gone places with, ate together with, slept in the same room with for three and half years but after He resurrected, walked and had conversation together from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance of 7 miles, yet they did not recognize Him all through the journey because He had disguised (Mark 16:12(NLT).
The two disciples invited Him to spend the night with them because it was late. Alas, as Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, He instantly changed to a body they recognized and He disappeared (Luke 24:13-34; Mark 16:12-13).
This is the type of body, which those of us made holy under grace shall transit into after this tent wherein we dwell meanwhile is pulled down.
On the morning when Jesus resurrected, Saints who have died hundreds of years earlier, were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem (Matt. 27:52).
This is why Jesus said that God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Matt.22:31).
By the grace of God, I will continue with this exposition next time and you will be sure that physical death is not the end of man but in contrast, it is the beginning of a new life, which may be one of joy and peace, when our true nature of God will come to play; no more sickness, no poverty and no death. But physical death can equally be the beginning of suffering, sorrow and weeping. You can then decide which side you want to be.
Let us Pray.
Continued from Part 1