The Resurrection Of The Body

The Apostle’s Creed puts it this way:

I believe in the resurrection of the body . . .

Yet the fact remains that most people don’t take the resurrection of the body very seriously. They are more focused on the immortality of the soul.

Most Christians believe that eternal life is all about their souls resting in the arms of heaven forever. And most people who aren’t Christians have been taught that’s what Christians believe about eternity. There is an element of truth in all that; for example, 2 Corinthians 5:8 says this: “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

Yet biblically speaking, that “away from the body and at home with the Lord” is but an interim state. As a whole, the bible in general and the New Testament in particular is much more interested in the ultimate resurrection of our bodies. That’s what I Corinthians 15 is all about — Paul corrects the Corinthians’ misuse of their bodies by teaching them that their flesh will be resurrected:

So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. I Corinthians 15:42-44

When does all that take place? When Jesus comes back. What does it all have to do with the Easter season? Everything. Jesus’ own resurrection was a downpayment, or a “first fruits,” of our resurrection. He was saying, “What happened to me and my body — that’s what will happen to you and your body at the end of the age.”

So believing in the “resurrection of the body” is not merely a line in a creed. It — even more than the immortality of the soul — is the destiny of those who follow Jesus.