That’s quite a list whereby the Apostle Paul describes the character of our physical bodies: corruption, dishonor, weakness, and natural, see I Cor. 15:42-44.
It’s very accurate.
Every time I have to visit the hospital, its accuracy leaps out at me. Press your nose against the glass of the nursery, you are sure to find some little one gasping for breath, sometimes assisted by gigantic machines that enfold them like a second womb. Yes, they have barely arrived upon the scene and weakness is displayed. Try walking quietly through pediatrics. It’s quite a learning experience. Here’s a little boy with his leg suspended by an iron contraption; he looks awfully uncomfortable. There’s another one, face flushed with fever, cuddling his fuzzy toy, crying softly. True, it may not take many days and they will soon be bounding with the zest of life, yet while they are sick they surely are weak. The halls are long, the floors are many, each room tells its own story of weakness. In one we see a once beautiful young girl, her body attacked violently by death, the disease obviously taking its toll. In another we can see a strong young man, hovering between life and death, the “victim” of a violent accident. Nothing in the hospital is quite like geriatrics. It is sown in weakness. Walk among the aged in the hospital and rest home. What you see, what you hear, what you feel, yes, even what you smell is death! How often I have quietly reflected to myself while visiting among them, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou visitest him,” Ps. 8:4. Yes, they are at the end of the road, some almost waiting to breathe their last—and for God’s people, to be redeemed from the body of this death.
You may well ask, why dwell on these things?
Perhaps you are one who would just as soon look at the bright side of life. You may say that there are more places to visit than hospitals and old people’s homes. Think of the homes that echo with the happy sounds of healthy babies and children and grateful parents that care for them. Or visit the schools where teachers are about to pull out their hair knowing how to handle children that have energy to spare. We can step into many homes and see old folks actively engaged in their retirement years and appreciating every one of them.
When Paul, through the work of the Holy Spirit, describes for us the character of our. physical body, he does not mean to belittle its amazing quality. It is still a wonderful creation of God. Still more, for each one of us as children of God it is nothing less than the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” I Cor. 6:19. Beyond all doubt, our bodies also are wonderfully made.
Let’s not whitewash the reality of weakness, however.
We must see that there is a difference between the bodies of Adam and Eve prior to the fall and our bodies as we have them today. Still more, we must also see that there is a difference between our bodies as we now possess them and the bodies of the saints that have already been redeemed. The difference is weakness, corruption, dishonor, and natural.
That weakness is inseparably connected with sin and death.
Because of sin we are weak in our bodies.
Without sin there would be no death. Now, because of the sin of Adam, we all die.
Face that honestly as you see it in others and in yourself. Yes, it is sown in weakness.
Even our bodies tell us we need a Savior! The good news of the gospel is that we have such a Savior. There is deliverance from sin and death in One, the Lord Jesus Christ. He took upon Himself our death in order that He might impart to us His life.
In Christ, we have forgiveness of sin, Acts 5:31.
In Christ, we have the redemption of our body, Rom. 8:23.
We have another list that describes the character of our physical bodies: incorruption, glory, power, and spiritual,” I Cor. 15:42-44.
We have a blessed change in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In Him, death is swallowed up in victory.
Believe in Him and enjoy that change.