The Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:35-44
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?…

To the sceptical question, "With what body do they come?" Paul's answer is —

I. NOT IN THE SAME AS THAT WHICH WAS DEPOSITED IN THE GRAVE. The old body is destroyed. The death of that seed from which the plant springs is the mere destruction of its husk. Its hidden life, something altogether distinct from its clothing, germinated and broke through its husky garb, which dissolved in the earth. So "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven." The gross is gone for ever.

II. WITH A BODY THAT WILL HAVE AN ORGANIC CONNECTION WITH THE BURIED ONE. The oak, though it has not a particle of the old acorn in it; the butterfly, though it has not a particle of the grub egg from which it sprung in it; the stalwart man, though he has not one particle of that matter which he had when an infant on his mother's knee, has an organic connection with it. So Paul virtually says of the resurrection body, though it has nothing in it of the old materials, it has a casual connection with it. What is that mystic thing which connects the acorn with the oak, the man with the infant? Tell me that, and I may perhaps tell you that which connects the resurrection body with that which was buried. We know that seeds that have been buried in darkness for thousands of years, will, when brought into the genial air and sunbeam, break into life; may it not be that in the human body there is an invisible, indestructible germ — what the old Jew called the "immortal bone," and Goethe the "monad" — that will spring to life when, by the interposition of Heaven, all the graves of the world shall be thrown open? Is there an undying embryo in this gross body of ours out of which will spring one day a glorious body?


1. God clothes life. "To every seed his own body." There is no doubt that in the universe there is life unclothed by matter. It may be so with the angels; it is so with God. Around us there may be immeasurable oceans of naked life; but we only know something of the embodied. No science has as yet told us what life is.

2. God clothes life with the fittest body. "All flesh is not the same flesh." Life has boundless varieties, but God gives to each its fitting body. The hare and the elephant, the wren and the eagle, the minnow and the leviathan, all have bodies fitted to the peculiarities of their distinctive life.

3. God clothes life according to His own pleasure. "Giveth a body as it hath pleased Him." He chose the form, the hue, the garb, of each life. Our resurrection body will be as it "hath pleased Him." Then —

(1) It will be beautiful, for He is the God of all taste, the Fountain of all beauty, the Standard of all aesthetics.

(2) Useful, for He is the God of benevolence. Exquisitely suited to our present sphere are the bodies we now have.

(3) Glorious. "There is one glory of the sun," etc.; so also with the resurrection of the just.

IV. WITH A BODY THAT WILL BE A VAST IMPROVEMENT ON THE OLD ONE. Paul attributes three predicates to the present body — corruption, dishonour, weakness: to the resurrection body, three predicates — immortality, glory, and power. What an improvement!

(D. Thomas, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

WEB: But someone will say, "How are the dead raised?" and, "With what kind of body do they come?"

The Natural Resurrection
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