When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:54
While we are alive, our spirits are united with our bodies. When we die, our spirits depart, and our lifeless bodies return to the earth. Is that the final destiny for our bodies?
Some religions welcome death as a release from the “prison” of the body. But, according to the Bible, God made us to have both souls and bodies; moreover, he made our bodies good (Psalm 139:14). So when the two are separated by death, we cease to be as God made us. For that reason, we say, with the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”
How can that be? Our bodies are vulnerable and frail. They break down and eventually just give out. Yet our bodies remain integral to who we are as God has made us. Without our bodies, we are no longer fully ourselves.
For all of us who believe in Christ, we can take great comfort that when we die, our souls will immediately be with Jesus. And when Jesus returns, our bodies and souls will be reunited. Then we will again be fully ourselves.
On that day, though, our bodies will no longer be frail and mortal. Death will be conquered, and we will have “glorified” bodies, just like Jesus’ body at his resurrection.
Lord Jesus, thank you for our bodies, fearfully and wonderfully made. Help us to treat them with care and respect while we wait to share with you the fullness of resurrection life. Amen.