No Second Chances
“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is 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. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being,” the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
In an underground storage site near Los Angeles, the heads of a number of men and women are stored in capsules, which look like giant vacuum flasks. Those heads are wrapped in tinfoil, and an icy mist of liquid nitrogen is around each of them. These people have chosen to be frozen in the belief that sometime in the future, when medical science has advanced far beyond today’s standards, they might be revived and cured of the disease that killed them. Some of the bodies have been there for 40 years. They might be there for many more if their disease proves to be particularly resistant to a cure or science remains unable to jump-start them again.
From America to Japan: A number of years ago, a huge grave was discovered on the Japanese island of Amakusa. At that grave there is a marker that says the heads of 11,111 Christians are buried there. The date on the grave is 1637. That was the year when the Japanese government ordered all Christians to be exterminated. The inscription above this grave states that 11,111 Christians were killed and their bodies were buried elsewhere. Why? The missionaries who had brought Christianity to Japan had preached the resurrection of the body. It was the belief of the Japanese rulers that if they separated the heads from the bodies, they would stop those believers from joining in that great day. Now it is time to ask, what is the common denominator in those stories? One day the physical, bodily resurrection of all believers in Christ is coming. It is coming and nobody has the ability to stop it any more than they can stop the sun from rising or the moon from setting. An unbeliever can freeze their entire body, butultimately, cryonics can’t defeat death. The problem is that we are all terminal. We cannot stop physical death from coming to us. While the best is yet to be for the child of the God, the problem is that we all have to die physically to receive it.
Thank God for the glorious resurrection of Christ. As the great apostle Paul said, “Absent from the body (death) present with the Lord.” There is no purgatory in between. That is why he also said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
You can’t stop death from coming but you can be ready for it, but you can be ready for it.
Amos 4:11 reminds us to, “Prepare to meet your God,”
God told King Hezekiah, “…Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” (Isaiah 38:1) You can be ready by receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
Here is one of my favorite Easter verses about our new resurrection bodies; “…but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2b RSV)
While we do not know everything about our coming resurrection, but we do know three definite things;
- We know that there is a physical resurrection day coming.
- We know that on that day that “we shall be like him.”
- We know that on that resurrection day, “we shall see him as he is.”
Maranatha (“O Lord, come!”)
Pastor Robert Bryant