By Rick Lewers
The final part in a short series that explores the ultimate end of us all.
There is a story of a little blind boy who, while flying his kite, was asked, "You can't see the kite so how do you know it is there?" The blind boy responded, "Because I can feel the tug of the string on my finger." And so it is in the heart of people when it comes to life beyond the grave. People may not know what is out there but they can feel the tug in their souls.
Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ that tug on the soul had people asking, "How are the dead raised up and with what body will they come?" That's a great question which bleeds others like, "Will I be recognisable as me? Will there be reunion with loved ones beyond the grave?" and many more. These are answered by two illustrations given in the Bible.
The first is the illustration of a seed. We know that when we dig a hole, put the seed in it and cover it over with dirt new life begins. What you plant is not what will be, but rather, out of the ground will spring new life consistent with the seed sown but magnificently transformed. From a rose seed buried you don't get tomatoes you get roses and the transformation is beautiful. In other words there is a continuity with what is sown but a difference in terms of transformation.
The Bible makes clear that this is what resurrection is like for the Christian. The body is buried, covered over, and new life springs forth from the grave. There is continuity as out of the ground will come you - not me or someone else. But there will be a difference in that you will be magnificently transformed.
The second illustration is fish having bodies suitable for water and birds, for the air. Each uniquely designed for their environment. The point is that in the resurrection you will have a body suitable to your new place of existence. In other words you will be clothed with a body suitable for heaven and eternity – one that suffers no illness, no breakdowns, no injury and no death.
This is what the Bible says, "So will it 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."
In the face of death the Christian is offered the most extraordinary gift: a new life recognisable with the old, a better life beautifully transformed, and an eternal life with a body to suit.
The implications are magnificent. "Recognisable" rings with the possibility of reunion with our loved ones. "Transformation" will mean perfection's blessings. And "suitability" means the end of grief and an unending friendship with God and each other.
For the Christian, one minute after you die, life just gets better. I say for the Christian because all this depends upon the merciful reconciliation Jesus Christ offers us in His death on the cross made certain through His resurrection from the dead.
To those who are not Christian, I say Jesus Christ would welcome you into all this, if only you welcomed Him into your life.•