Have you ever been in a class and not quite understood what the teacher or professor was talking about? Just a blank stare. Maybe a few blinks.
This is the kind of crowd Paul was addressing in 1 Corinthians. But who could blame them? Paul was talking about the impossible–resurrection, transformation, and living forever in God’s Kingdom.
Logically this didn’t make sense to a people who valued logic.
Everything has to die. Things that die don’t come back to life, nor do they live forever.
But creation screams resurrection and transformation. The leaves fall, but return. The grass dies, but returns. The seed dies, but the crop returns. It’s as if God has been telling us this all along–we will die, but we will return.
And we know this for certain because Jesus came, died, and came back to life. Those that follow him will as well.
But our earthly bodies cannot enter into his Kingdom. They, like the seed or the tree, or the grass, must fade away. However, they will undergo transformation making them suitable for Kingdom life.
And therefore, while death is very much a part of this life, it does not have victory. Death has lost its sting. While we may grieve those we love who have passed on, it is not the end.
We are a people who go from life to life.
Great, life-giving news such as this spurs us on to continue our faith journey, knowing our work is not in vain.