Illustration by Patrick Murphy
This past weekend, a piece of mine was published in our local paper. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full article. The article was adapted from a section of my booklet, Christ in the Feasts.
Easter Sunday is just past. Christians celebrated Christ’s resurrection from the dead. (We also consumed our share of chocolate bunnies!)
Resurrection conjures different images. We may think of someone on TV whose eyes pop open as life floods back into them with a gasp. Whatever we imagine, chances are, it involves a dead individual getting back up.
Sowing and Growing
The Bible often employs agricultural pictures of resurrection. Paul compares death with planting seed: “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And…you are not sowing the future body, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain” (1 Cor. 15:36-37). Of all human seeds planted in graves, Christ was the first to sprout, break ground, and rise above it. Christ’s resurrection assures we will be raised as well: “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5, KJV).
But Paul’s comments make it clear that the seed and resurrection bodies aren’t equivalent; resurrection isn’t just reanimating a corpse. Instead, the seed and resurrection bodies are as different as an apple seed and an apple tree. Resurrection isn’t just restored life but transformed being: “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” (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
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