Scripture tells us that “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 … And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”
Of course, being the theologians we are, Mark and I were sitting at El Rodeo eating lunch quesadilla supremes (which I warn you has bell peppers in it) when we came across the very scary idea “what if I am unhappy with my glorified body?” “What if, after I’m resurrected from the grave, I look down and realize that I’m not completely satisfied with my glorified thighs? They’re just too fat. They won’t fit into my new glorified jeans.”
And then, of course, my insecurities of self-image and self-confidence came flooding out and we get into the discussion of hoping that my old sinful natured tummy will be gone (sorry Tommy), and in it’s place, I’ll have a new illuminating, glorified six-pack.
But joking aside, this is what we look forward to right? The restoration of all things? I heard a talk recently, given by Joe Ho, who described it like this: “the importance of the resurrection of Christ doesn’t necessarily stop at verification of Christ’s divine nature; rather, it belies a foundation of hope that the Children of God already had in the restoration of all things.”
We know that the death of Christ paid the price for our sins, but the resurrection of Christ is the manifestation of the promise that God will right all things wrong (Joe cited N.T. Wright here). Not just our bodies, not just our personal relationship with God, but everything, from our relationships with each other, to all of creation.
That means when I fail and I sin in any of those ways, the proper reaction is not self-loathing. That would be just as silly as complaining about my glorified thighs. So then how do you react (with respect to yourself)? Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much we can do – merely accept God’s grace for we have a hope that everything we do wrong or make wrong or screw up, will be restored to what it should have been.
How humbling (and ironic) it is to know that you can’t hate yourself for what you’ve done! It’s funny, since I’ve been asking for patience, integrity, and character, I have failed in all of those things but I guess what I didn’t realize was: how can you learn those things if you don’t start with the humility of knowing how restored you are!