Reading: 1 Corinthians 15
Reflection: I don’t argue the bodily resurrection of Jesus. It’s kind of in vogue right now (and for the church that means the last 40 to 200 years) to argue about whether the 5’5″, 125 lbs, brown-eyed, black-haired, brown-skinned malcontent rabbi from Nazareth woke up one Sunday morning wondering how he got in this cave. My flippant attitude aside, I mean it when I say, I don’t care whether you could have set up a video camera and captured the moment of Jesus’ resuscitation, because it don’t matter. Now before my heresy trial is called, let me say that I agree with Paul that our hope is in vain if Christ is not raised from the dead, but what does that mean for any Christian after that first Ascension Day? Again, we look to Paul. Paul tells us, “It is sown a physical body (psychikon), it is raised a spiritual body (pnevmatikon). If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Cor 15.44) This may sound like arguing about bodies, but it points to something deeper. When Paul says, “Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Cor 15.8) I don’t think he is describing a person in psychikon of Jesus, a human body whose source is this world, standing before him but the pnevmatikon, a body whose source is the Spirit of God, born from above if you will. He is describing a changed being, a fundamentally different kind of life and body. So you see, if the point of resurrection is mere resuscitation, there is no hope in that, death still lurks around each corner, we are still under the yoke of bondage to this age. However, when the source of our being is changed by our baptism which gives us a share of that resurrection life, when we choose to bear the name of Christ every day, every hour, every minute, when we pick up our cross and follow him, we are freed. The powers of this world can no longer hold anything over us. We have begun to bring the life of the world to come into this age until its final consummation.
I pray that each one of us who bears the name of Christ has had an experience of the Risen Christ and that our being was transformed by that experience from the psychikon of this age into the pnevmantikon of the age to come. Argue about bodies if you like, I will continue to seek that changed being and new, abundant life offered by Jesus’ resurrection.
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.