Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Body of Man (1 Corinthians 15:12-58)

"… we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Cor. 15:49).

God created man in His own image. When mankind fell into sin, that image was shattered, fragmented nearly beyond recognition. We lost our original holiness and righteousness. Our ability to think was distorted. We were not reduced to the likeness of animals, but our thoughts have been darkened and twisted because of sin. Our emotions, which were once tree from shame, fear, ungodly desires, and depression, are now warped by the effects of sin. Our wills, which were once committed unreservedly to carry out the will of God, are now in a state of rebellion, bent on serving our own selfish interests rather than the interests of God.

The hope provided in the person and work of Jesus Christ is that the fragments of our shattered lives will be pieced back together by the power of His Spirit. The image will be renewed in our hearts and our minds. But that is not all that will be redeemed. To only look at man’s soul as reflective of the image of God is to paint just part of the picture. Human beings are more than just a soul; they are flesh and blood. To what extent, then, is the body made in the image of God? This question has been debated by theologians for centuries. Because God is a spirit, it is not appropriate to say that something physical is made in His image. But it can be said that the physical can represent that which is spiritual. God wisely joined the soul and body of man in perfect union to reflect His image.

When God made Adam and Eve, their bodies and souls were sown together in perfect harmony. They were free from disease, aging, deformities, and death. But like its effect on the soul, sin shattered that perfect design. With the soul, the body fell into deformity, disease, and death. That which was once pure became shameful. In the Garden, Adam and Eve were naked, but they felt no shame. When sin corrupted their nature, their nakedness became shameful.

But like the soul, God has promised to redeem the body. He has clothed our nakedness with the righteousness of Christ, and one day our bodies will be raised in glory. The corruptible will put on the incorruptible. The perishable will put on immortality.

In light of the future resurrection of the body, how should you regard the ailments of your present body? The Bible says this world in its present form is passing away. How can you see this evident in your body? What encouragement do you have as your body ages and grows weak? Meditate on today’s passage and its message of hope.