At the age of 33, I still feel young—that is, until I wake up the morning after a day of substantial (and sometimes not-so-substantial) physical activity. My back hurts after a long day of never-ending home renovations. My ribs hurt the day after a round of golf. My hip hurts after going bowling (I wish I were kidding). And from what I’ve heard, it only gets worse. With each popping joint and sore muscle, I am reminded that my body is certainly not what it once was.
But it’s also not what it one day will be.
That is Paul’s point in today’s passage. After defending the bodily resurrection of the dead (vv. 12-34), Paul then turns his attention to how the dead are raised. What kind of body will the dead be raised with? Seems like a valid question.
While we don’t know all the physical parameters of our resurrected bodies (silly Westerners, always overemphasizing the physical), we do know they will be qualitatively different than our earthly bodies. But how? Well, according to Paul they will be imperishable (v. 42)—incapable of death and decay. They will be glorious (v. 43a)—incapable of sin. They will be powerful (v. 43b)—no longer weak and fragile. They will be spiritual (v. 44)—unhindered and invincible, unlike the natural bodies we currently possess. In a word, our resurrected bodies will be perfect—specially and specifically designed for God’s good and eternal purposes.
So let every sore muscle, every popping joint, every blemish, and every scar remind you that, if you are in Christ, your resurrected body awaits you. Until that day when the perishable and mortal puts on the imperishable and immortal, remember that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you . . . So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).