The nature and scope of the Resurrection is likely one of the most disputed facts in theology today! The question of what type of Body we will receive at the Resurrection is not a new one, either. In I Corinthians 15:35-49, the apostle Paul answers the question, 'How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?' by launching into a metaphorical and very natural explanation of how a body is resurrected, and how it appears once resurrected.
Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die'. One major problem in the Church today is the belief that one's biological body must die in order for it to be resurrected! This stems almost wholly from the belief that the Resurrection is about individual, biological bodies being raised from the physically dead!
To be in Christ is to partake in the Resurrection! The point of the Resurrection was that the dead Body of Israel might live to serve the Purpose for which She was born; to bring Heaven to Earth! The Purpose of the Resurrection is not to take individual, biological bodies from Earth to Heaven. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as [ it is ] in heaven'. He Himself prayed, in the Garden of Gethsemane, 'I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.'The Purpose of Creation, as Re-Creation was always to bring Heaven to Earth; the Marriage of Heaven & Earth, you might say!
Many Christians today, it would seem, believe and teach that Salvation, not unlike Resurrection, is 'going to Heaven when you die'. This could not be further from the Truth! To begin with, both concepts are related in the context of a Corporate Body, that of Israel who had died a separational & covenantal death and needed to be redeemed in order to fulfill Her Purpose! Furthermore, as we have seen the Purpose of both Salvation & Resurrection was to bring the Rule of Heaven to Earth, not to snatch Man from Earth to Heaven!
As Christians realize this Glorious Truth ( of the Resurrection ), I believe that we will see, more and more, the evidence of the Rule of Heaven throughout the Earth! This Rule, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we accept it or not, is preeminent, but as we acknowledge and follow this Rule in our own lives, the Rule & Reign of Heaven will shine out through our Holy Lives, bringing Light, Resurrection & Life to the dark & dying world around us!
Since we partake in the Resurrection, then, let us Live as if we will never die; Death is defeated!
In Heaven, the Presence of God & Eternally Alive,
Charles Haddon Shank