But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?”

1 Corinthians 15:35

“How will the dead be raised?” (1 Corinthians 15:35)

As a pastor, I have conducted dozens of funerals over the years for people from all walks of life, differing backgrounds and varying degrees of faith.

People often ask questions when someone close to them dies, ranging from things such as, has the person gone to heaven through to whether to cremate or bury their loved one. The latter question is quite a serious one for folk because it raises the issue of how God raises the dead.

“If I cremate ________, then how will God be able to raise him/her on resurrection day, because there will be only ashes?” It is a genuine question that requires a sensitive and thoughtful response because at that moment, emotions and doubts which have been buried have been brought to the surface as they confront the painful reality of their loss.

Paul addresses similar questions in today’s reading as he continues his defence of the resurrection, but he does so from the standpoint of answering those who are objecting to it. Paul anticipates that some who disagree with his viewpoint may well say, “Ok Paul, you say the dead are raised. If this is true, then how will God do this and what will the resurrection body be like?”

While the Jews taught the resurrection of the body, there were those among them who denied it and to drive home the point they would ask questions such as, “What happens if the person died at sea or their body was completely destroyed by fire?”

Not surprisingly, the Rabbis had an answer for such questions! They taught that a particular bone in the neck was unable to be destroyed and that God would use this bone to resurrect the person’s entire body!

Jesus was once confronted by the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection either, asking Him a question about the relationship of marriage in the Age to Come. (Mark 12:18-27). Jesus answered their question but went one step further, pointing out their denial of the resurrection was wrong, because God is a both a living God and the God of the living, clearly affirming the truth of resurrection.

Paul takes a similar line. The resurrection of the dead is a certain fact, resting solidly on the resurrection of Jesus.

And Who makes it all possible? Our living God, Who is the God of the living!

For further reflection: Luke 20:27-40.

 

As a pastor, I have conducted dozens of funerals over the years for people from all walks of life, differing backgrounds and varying degrees of faith.

People often ask questions when someone close to them dies, ranging from things such as, has the person gone to heaven through to whether to cremate or bury their loved one. The latter question is quite a serious one for folk because it raises the issue of how God raises the dead.

“If I cremate ________, then how will God be able to raise him/her on resurrection day, because there will be only ashes?” It is a genuine question that requires a sensitive and thoughtful response because at that moment, emotions and doubts which have been buried have been brought to the surface as they confront the painful reality of their loss.

Paul addresses similar questions in today’s reading as he continues his defence of the resurrection, but he does so from the standpoint of answering those who are objecting to it. Paul anticipates that some who disagree with his viewpoint may well say, “Ok Paul, you say the dead are raised. If this is true, then how will God do this and what will the resurrection body be like?”

While the Jews taught the resurrection of the body, there were those among them who denied it and to drive home the point they would ask questions such as, “What happens if the person died at sea or their body was completely destroyed by fire?”

Not surprisingly, the Rabbis had an answer for such questions! They taught that a particular bone in the neck was unable to be destroyed and that God would use this bone to resurrect the person’s entire body!

Jesus was once confronted by the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection either, asking Him a question about the relationship of marriage in the Age to Come. (Mark 12:18-27). Jesus answered their question but went one step further, pointing out their denial of the resurrection was wrong, because God is a both a living God and the God of the living, clearly affirming the truth of resurrection.

Paul takes a similar line. The resurrection of the dead is a certain fact, resting solidly on the resurrection of Jesus.

And Who makes it all possible? Our living God, Who is the God of the living!

For further reflection: Luke 20:27-40.