Compassion: A fourteen-day Journey #5


The Stewardship Implications of Bodily Resurrection

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Though He Slay Me, Yet I Will Trust Him!

The story of Job is ancient–most likely one of Scripture’s oldest. Old Testament believers had no clear-cut concept of a bodily resurrection. However, Job appears convinced that a day is coming when he will be defended and restored, not just spiritually but also physically. Most scholars agree that the Redeemer he spoke of refers to God himself and that Job believed that God would offer vindication for Job in the face of his trials.

This appreciation for the physical dimension of salvation is crucial for understanding the Biblical message of generosity. As affirmed in a statement by The Gospel Coalition,

God created both soul and body, and the resurrection of Jesus shows that he is going to redeem both the spiritual and the material. Therefore God is concerned not only for the salvation of souls but also for the relief of poverty, hunger, and injustice. The gospel opens our eyes to the fact that all our wealth (even wealth for which we worked hard) is ultimately an unmerited gift from God. Therefore the person who does not generously give away his or her wealth to others is not merely lacking in compassion, but is unjust. Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service and comes to wealth through giving all away. Those who receive his salvation are not the strong and accomplished but those who admit they are weak and lost. We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that away. The gospel replaces superiority toward the poor with mercy and compassion.  I ndifference to the poor and disadvantaged means there has not been a true grasp of our salvation by sheer grace.

As expressed in the following quotation by Pope John Paul II (1920-2005),

In the resurrection the body will return to prefect unity and harmony with the spirit. Man will no longer experience the opposition between what is spiritual and what is physical in him. Spiritualization means not only that the spirit will dominate the body, but, I would say, that it will fully permeate the body, and that the forces of the spirit will permeate the energies of the body.

What does the believer’s ultimate participation in the divine nature say to us about the worth of each person? In Matthew 25:40 Jesus identifies bodily with “the least of these brothers.” True, when he spoke these words he was living in a human body, but we as Christians believe that this passage still carries direct implications for us.

JOB 19:25-26 NKJV

For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I  know, That in my flesh I shall see God,

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