I’m 54 years old. When I was young I said I’d never prattle on about my ailments, like a great-aunt Jane or a Grandpa Joe.
But now the doctor said I have bad arthritis in my knees, my feet swell, my eyes get so dry, my digestion is ahem explosively sensitive, and I get these headaches…
Ack. And my bodily griefs are piddling compared to some who endure disease, chronic pain, and trauma by fire or accident. Anyway, I think so often about seeing Jesus. My daily prayer usually ends with asking, “Is this the day? Will today be the Day I see you?”
After the promise and excitement and joy of seeing Jesus, the next part I’m looking forward to is the new body.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)
OK, that’s a great start. We shall be changed. Hmmm. Changed how?
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:53).
Ok, we will be immortal. That’s a fact that a lot of unsaved people do not know and a lot of saved people do not ponder enough. All peoples who have ever lived will be immortal. The unsaved dead will be raised for eternal punishment and the saved dead will be raised for eternal joy and communion with the Savior. In new bodies!
Matthew Henry Commentary says,
He assigns the reason of this change (v. 53): For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. How otherwise could the man be a fit inhabitant of the incorruptible regions, or be fitted to possess the eternal inheritance? How can that which is corruptible and mortal enjoy what is incorruptible, permanent, and immortal? This corruptible body must be made incorruptible, this mortal body must be changed into immortal, that the man may be capable of enjoying the happiness designed for him.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2276). Peabody: Hendrickson.
Further, the verse says we will be imperishable. This means we will not only be eternal but we will not even have to worry about our bodies. They cannot perish. Imagine living without worrying about the end of our lives?! Take death off the table and just imagine how much of a relief it will be.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
Our bodies and our hearts and our minds will no longer feel any kind of pain. Not even the memory of it.
In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul said, “We … would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” When we die, we’re home. Imagine a small boy who falls asleep in the back seat of the car. When the family gets home, his father picks him up and carries him into the house. When he wakes up, he’s home. That’s what will happen for God’s children.
Death is glory. It is paradise, as Jesus said. In Philippians 1:21, Paul wrote that “to die is gain.” When we die, we will gain imperishable, glorified, spiritual bodies (1 Cor 15:42–44) and be like Jesus in this way (1 Cor 15:49). We will know God and each other as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). And we will eat of the tree of life and live forever (Rev 22).
Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.