Thursday, October 8, 2009
Bodily Resurrection in Paul? part two
One question I have for those favoring a bodily resurrection is this: Do you believe that your own physical body will be reconstituted and changed into a spiritual body during the general resurrection? Paul calls Christ the “first fruits” of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), implying that those who belong to Jesus will be raised in similar fashion. If Jesus was raised bodily, then his followers will be raised this way as well. Let’s think out the implications of this through the person of St. Paul.
Let’s say Paul was killed in Rome sometime in the 60’s. I’m sure many people assume that he is in heaven with Jesus. But if Jesus has been physical raised and Paul has not (yet), are they currently together but in different bodies? Is Paul awaiting the general resurrection and his actual spiritual body which will be his former physical body transformed? If he is, then where are the materials of that body today? Surely Paul was buried, probably not in a proper tomb if he was martyred by Rome, and his body has decomposed. His remains have long since been transformed into earth. Perhaps parts of that earth have since become grass and animals have fed on that grass. Perhaps people have eaten some of those animals and then reproduced over generations. Even if this is not exactly right, we know that Paul’s physical remains have transformed into others things many, many times since his death. Maybe there are materials in thousands of people all over the world that were once part of the Apostle Paul. At the general resurrection at the end of the world, who gets to claim those parts? If Paul does, will molecules fly out of people, animals, plants and earth all over the world? And let’s remember that every molecule that made up Paul was once something else, and quite probably someONE else.
to be continued...