Summary: In the midst of the enigmatic suffering and pain of this life, the Good News of the Gospel, as ancient as Job, is that we shall one day have new bodies.
THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION:
JOB’S VINDICATION AND OURS
Paul’s Teaching on the Reality of Resurrected Bodies
As we continue to soak in the glorious truths related to the reality of the Resurrection, we come to verses 35-49. I can’t read this passage about resurrected bodies without reading from Job 19. It is as if the unswerving faith of Job which cried out in the darkness of his pain and suffering that he his body would one day be redeemed from the dust will not let us read without remembering him. So, I begin with Job 19.21-17 and then move to 1 Corinthians 15.35-49. This is the inerrant and infallible word of God.
* * *
The history of Christian doctrine reveals that it is mostly formed during the storms of heretical threatings. Thus, we articulate what we believe about the divinity and the humanity of Christ because a man named Arias denied it. So, too, sometimes in the Scriptures God reveals a doctrine to us because of bad teaching, as in the case of the Corinthians, but, also, because the tremendous trials and tragedies of life force the believer into a corner. This is what happened to Job. In the midst of his many tragedies and his decaying body, his friend’s so called help drives him to such an extreme that—far from breaking—Job breaks forth in glorious Spirit inspired doctrine. The soul of Job, encircled with the dark storm clouds of death and decay, breaks forth like the sun as he exclaims that "I know my Redeemer liveth!" And in that cry, and in that Redeemer, Job stakes his own claim for life. Though he dies yet shall he live again.
Paul is also a ray of divine sunshine in the lives of believers who were being robbed of the doctrine that would bring them the full life that God wants us to enjoy. The false teachers were like Job’s friends, purporting to be bearers of good teaching, but in their twisted doctrines bringing nothing but pain.
Paul and Job, separated by perhaps close to 2,000 years, both come to us today with a powerful promise that can enrich our lives and draw us closer to God’s plan for living and worshiping and praising Him.
Note first the Promise itself of Resurrected Bodies (in Job, in Paul’s appeal, but also in other parts of Scripture)
For Job and Paul, the promise is that through a Redeemer, though we die, we shall live and see Him with our own eyes. That means that though our bodies die, through Jesus, who rose again from the dead, we shall rise. Not only that, but we shall see God with our eyes. The bodies we have now will be gloriously transformed, from present existence, to decay in death, and then, all the more to glorify God, to be reconstituted from the original and transfigured to become an eternal heavenly body, so that "in my flesh" as Job says, I shall see God.
Now, I admit that over the past several weeks since Easter, as we have followed Paul, we have stated, re-stated, and now stated again that God will raise up His people from the dead. But, today, I want you to see that this is not just some far out first century teaching of a madman, but a thoroughly consistent theme in the Word of God dating back to the oldest book in the Bible. That false teachers should teach otherwise is to not only upset the record of God’s Word in all of its parts, but, like grave robbers desecrating the bodies of the deceased, they seek to desecrate the most fundamental hope of mankind: that we shall live again. But, God’s Word in giving us this promise of a resurrected body, of a new existence, is a divine gift. When I buy my son or wife a gift, sometimes I put it up where they can’t find it. But, I love them so much that I begin to "leak" the news of the gift. Then, I begin to give them hints that "I’ve got something good in store for you!" That’s the way this doctrine is. When back in Genesis, the holy man Enoch did not die but walked into heaven with God, our Lord graciously gave us a hint of His will. God was saying, "I’ve got something good in store for you, children." When the prophet Elijah raised a widow woman’s little boy from the dead in 1 Kings 17 (verse 17-24), the Lord was telling us "I’ve got something good in store for my people." I learned this as a boy, and I since I was a little boy being raised by a widow woman, I always thought that that story was just for me! God loved little boys of widow women! Yes and God loves us and gave us a glorious hint about how His love would one day bring a great gift! When Elisha in 2 Kings the prophet Elisha, who wore the mantel of his predecessor Elijah, promised a child to a Shunammite woman, that precious child was born. But the little fellow, who was the prize of his mamma and daddy, went out to work in the fields and turned to his daddy on a hot day and said, "My head, my head" there was heartache. That much loved little boy would die. But, the faith of that woman turned to God in her sorrow and Elisha was fetched and brought to the corpse. When he laid down on top of that boy and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes and his hands on his hands, the Bible says, "the flesh of the child became warm." (2 Kings 4.34). And then the child sneezed seven times and got up and the prophet told that woman, "Pick up your son." I tell you that in that story our great God has a gift for His people! He is giving us BIG hints about what He has in store for us! When David lost the first born child with Bethsheba he declared, "He shall not return to me but I shall go to him." God was again giving us a clue. When Jesus raised Lazarus God began giving away the secret. And On Sunday morning after His only begotten Son was crucified, wrapped up, and put in a Roman sealed tomb, God decided it was time to open up the gift! Jesus Christ is the great gift of God to mankind and the gift is more than we could ever hope for. The gift is that though we die, yet shall we live and, yes, Job, "after our skin is destroyed…in our flesh, we shall see God, for ourselves, our eyes shall behold our Redeemer!" We shall live again and not in some disembodied state but in a new eternally outfitted body of our own! That is the gift that God has prepared for us since the beginning of time. It is the gift you possess right now, if you are looking to Jesus Christ, crucified for your sins and risen for your eternal life.