Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed.

1 Corinthians 15:38

“God gives it the new body He wants it to have.” (1 Corinthians 15:38) – read verses 36-38 as a unit.

At the beginning of the COVID crisis last year, I decided to grow my own lettuce. We went through the process of preparing the garden beds, filling them with soil and diligently following the packet instructions on how to plant the seed, watering them regularly. (By the way, lettuce seeds are incredibly small!)

And we waited.

I would check to see how things were progressing, every morning and afternoon, until the day finally came when the first, tiny green shoots began to emerge above the soil’s surface. I was unprepared for how excited I was when I first saw them! It was an exhilarating feeling to think that life had emerged from something so insignificant and seemingly dead.

Back in 1 Corinthians 15:35, Paul mentions two questions people sometimes raise as objections to the resurrection of the dead:

  • How are the dead raised?
  • What kind of body will they have?

Paul answers the first question in verses 36-38 with an agricultural illustration – you could call it, “Lessons from a grain of corn!”

Every farmer knows that to grow a crop, the seed must first be sown into the ground. In that sense, the seed “dies” but in time, it produces new life. The farmer also knows that the seed you sow is different to the fruit which is produced. To grow ears of corn, you plant corn seeds, not ears of corn! And all of this occurs as a direct result of the power of God. God is both the Giver of life and the One Who causes things to grow.

It is a simple but profound answer to the question, “How are the dead raised?”

“There is no need for concern” says Paul, “if the person died at sea or their body was burned.”

Their body (“seed”) has been sown in death and from that “seed” God will produce a resurrected body. In the same way the corn seed differs to the actual fruit it produces, so the resurrected body is different to the original body which was sown in death and corruption.

Above all, we can be confident this is so because just as surely as God’s power produces new life out of dead corn seeds, He will also certainly produce new, resurrected bodies from our old, “death-doomed” ones.

Keep this in mind the next time you plant a veggie garden!

For further reflection: John 12:20-26.

At the beginning of the COVID crisis last year, I decided to grow my own lettuce. We went through the process of preparing the garden beds, filling them with soil and diligently following the packet instructions on how to plant the seed, watering them regularly. (By the way, lettuce seeds are incredibly small!)

And we waited.

I would check to see how things were progressing, every morning and afternoon, until the day finally came when the first, tiny green shoots began to emerge above the soil’s surface. I was unprepared for how excited I was when I first saw them! It was an exhilarating feeling to think that life had emerged from something so insignificant and seemingly dead.

Back in 1 Corinthians 15:35, Paul mentions two questions people sometimes raise as objections to the resurrection of the dead:

  • How are the dead raised?
  • What kind of body will they have?

Paul answers the first question in verses 36-38 with an agricultural illustration – you could call it, “Lessons from a grain of corn!”

Every farmer knows that to grow a crop, the seed must first be sown into the ground. In that sense, the seed “dies” but in time, it produces new life. The farmer also knows that the seed you sow is different to the fruit which is produced. To grow ears of corn, you plant corn seeds, not ears of corn! And all of this occurs as a direct result of the power of God. God is both the Giver of life and the One Who causes things to grow.

It is a simple but profound answer to the question, “How are the dead raised?”

“There is no need for concern” says Paul, “if the person died at sea or their body was burned.”

Their body (“seed”) has been sown in death and from that “seed” God will produce a resurrected body. In the same way the corn seed differs to the actual fruit it produces, so the resurrected body is different to the original body which was sown in death and corruption.

Above all, we can be confident this is so because just as surely as God’s power produces new life out of dead corn seeds, He will also certainly produce new, resurrected bodies from our old, “death-doomed” ones.

Keep this in mind the next time you plant a veggie garden!

For further reflection: John 12:20-26.