I love spring. Flowers are blooming; birds are chirping; the temperature outside is perfect. Things that died during the winter season come back to life. I love spring because it reminds me of new life. Not only does it remind me of new life here on earth, it reminds me of Christ. Springtime is a reminder to me that when we were lost in our sins and dying, Christ came, and He brought new, eternal life with Him for all who place their faith in Him.
The apostle Paul taught in 1 Corinthians that because of the resurrection of Jesus, each of His followers will have new life in Him one day. This life is eternal. Paul taught that after believers die, they are given new, eternal bodies and eternal life with Christ (verse 53). When this happens, Paul taught that scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (verses 54-55). This is referring to Old Testament verses from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14, which predict Jesus’ conquering of sin and death. One day, death will no longer exist. New life will abound for everyone who believes in Christ. Sin will be rendered powerless. Death will be put to death. What a promise we have to claim in these verses!
Just like spring is bursting with new life, Scripture promises that in Christ, followers have new life in Him forever. Sin, death, sorrow, and sadness will be gone forever. This is the hope that we have to cling to in the bleak, dark winter days. New life is coming. Hold on to hope.
Go on a walk today. Enjoy the beautiful weather. Take in all of the signs of new life that are blooming this time of year. Take in the fresh air and the beauty all around. (Take your Allegra first!) As you enjoy time outside, thank God for new life on earth and new life in Christ for all who believe in Him.
But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.