Midweek Message

LABC Update – Wednesday After Easter

Jim Hopkins

April 19, 2022

From “Paul and the Resurrection,” Biblical Archaeology Review (Spring 2022), Ben Witherington III –

Finally, Paul is not talking about life without a body in heaven in this passage (see 2 Corinthians 5:1-10). He sees that as a temporary expedient until Jesus returns: “to be absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). For Paul, the final form of afterlife involves life right here on earth in resurrected bodies when the kingdom comes and God’s will is finally done in the new creation on earth, as it is in heaven. Then the perishable will be swallowed up by the imperishable, and what Paul calls the new Jerusalem will come on earth with the return of Jesus, through a corporate merger of heaven and earth (see Galatians 4:26).

This is quite a vision of the future, such that Easter is not seen as a one-off event in human history. No, Paul views Jesus’s history as the Christian’s destiny, or as he puts it—Jesus is just the firstfruits of the resurrection. It is the harbinger of a bumper crop later.

(Thank you to Beverly Rogers, Covenant Church, Houston, TX for this photo taken in their church garden.)