1 Cor 15:35-58 - Death is the enemy of God's purposes
Since a very young age, one of our children has had a concern that goods that are purchased are 'fit for service' - that is, what we buy ought to be fit for what it is intended. If its not, take it back. In our reading today, Paul is emphasising that God is also concerned about making our decaying human bodies, once again 'fit for service'. One commentator, writing on this passage says "His extended discussion on how God at the resurrection re-creates the body to make it fit for its new reality in God's presence underscores his eagerness to connect believers' present experience in the body with their future experience in the body". The common understanding of the day in Corinth was that at death, the body decays but the soul, which is actually the 'real person' lives on in heaven but this is not as Paul sees it; death is the enemy of God's purposes and death is to be defeated, not tolerated. Indeed, for Paul, there is a 'body' both sides of death as we know it. God is redeeming his Creation, and in the resurrection of Jesus the King, death is defeated. Death in this life is not the end of life - rather it is a temporary interruption to life as God intends for us. Take a look at verse 54 - 55 again. What an amazing picture. The implications are not simply connected to our resurrection body in the new heaven and new earth. This picture of fully redeemed life impacts life now, in the way we encourage others and in the way we treat Gods creation now. We look foreword to a resurrected body because we will spend eternity in this new body and it will be a body intimately connected with and relating to other people and all of God’s redeemed creation. This ought to shape the way we treat others and treat this world. Trashing what God is redeeming is no way to bring God glory.