Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We wrinkle and rot, and He did not
Acts 3 makes a significant point that God preserved the flesh of the Savior in the grave in a miraculous manner. I know from experience that dead bodies decay very quickly. I also had the experience of carrying the ashes of a dear friend in my car for a weekend and watching his dust go into a tube in the ground. A tall man reduced to four lbs. of granular dust. This is part of the reason I flip-flopped a bit when I was thinking and restudying this issue. I put a lot of emphasis on the verse in 2 Cor which says “that which is seen is temporary and that which is unseen is permanent. I was leaning toward a spiritual body with totally new charactaristics.
At the end of the Passion there is a very brief scene showing a puff of wind in the grave cloths of Christ and then his appearance with holes in his hands. The last book I am going to discuss is a fascinating work by L. Murray Harris named From Grave to Glory, which documents his battle to escape a heresy charge by a very popular co teacher in the Evangelical Free Church.
Before I head in this direction I want to show how Randy Alcorn’s book echoed agreement with the physical body, renewed universe hope for our future.
From Randy Alcorn, Heaven
"Any resurrection that leaves our bodies less physical than Adam and Eves or the New Earth less physical than the original earth, essentially credits Satan with a victory over God, suggesting that Satan has permanently marred God’s original creation, intention and design."
Quoting Anthony Hoekema in part,….”the goal of God’s redemption is the resurrection of the physical body, and the creation of a new earth in which his redeemed creatures can live and serve God forever with glorified bodies. Thus the universe will not be destroyed but renewed and God will win the victory.
A sentence or two later a reader of an early draft wrote the following: Because I believed that places did not matter to God I did not want them to matter to me. Because I believed that animals did not matter to God I did not want them to matter to me. Because God only cared about my spirit. I did not let my body matter to me.
Alcorn says and I agree: If I could snap my fingers and eliminate one thought that confuses our understanding of Heaven it would be that the physical world is an obstacle to God’s plan rather than the object of it. He calls that belief christoplatonism.
Finally, it is the issue of the changes in the resurrection body of Christ that became the point of contention in from Grave to Glory. Ie. In the future will I need a plane to visit my favorite place on earth, the Napali Coastline, or can I just sort of think myself there and be there?????? My next post will wrestle with this.