Some people doubt that God resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead. However, for authentic Christians, there is no doubt. In Christian churches when the declaration from the pulpit that “Christ has risen,” is spoken, the reply, “He has risen, indeed” is expected. Our belief that Christ has risen from the dead is the bastion of our faith. Nevertheless, when it comes to our own death, questions emerge. We may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” (1 Corinthians 15:35 NIV). This question isn’t the same as asking “Will I have eternal life.”
Imagine that the apostle, Paul, is attending our Bible study. He’s sitting in a folding chair just like the rest of us, and we ask him the aforementioned questions. Paul raises his voice. Yikes! And he replies, “How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.” (1 Corinthians 15:36-37, NIV). How can we possibly understand this comparison of our dead bodies to a seed of wheat? Instead of questioning (“how foolish”), let’s explore something we often see in God’s creation, the butterfly.
We don’t understand it, but we know that a butterfly doesn’t begin its life with beautiful, multi-colored wings. In reality, the butterfly is essentially dead before it lives. So, God, in his own timing gives each butterfly the body he sees fit. None is the same. They come from a different species, or race, if you will. Created in many colors, some have contrasting spots, lines, or circles on their bodies. Some have wings that fit together as one wing, while others have a distinct separation between their “front wings” and “back wings.”
Accordingly, we humans start out with a different body, as Paul further explains in 1 Corinthians 15:38, “But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body” (NIV). Even though, we don’t know how God makes this happen, according to Paul, it’s valid to say that the seeds of our bodies undergo a remarkable transition over time, so that when we die, we will rise and live again in our bodies, after death:
“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NIV).
Now, when you think about the transformation of a butterfly, do you understand the concept that before God raises us, we must first die?