Our Bodies are Sown and God Raises them

November 17, 2018 – Doug McKay Memorial

by Pastor Pete Scheele

Read 1 Corinthians 15:42 – 57

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Grace and peace to you, Rita, Jason, Abby, Amber, Bruno and all the family and friends of Doug McKay, from God our Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Doug set me up and all of you alone with me for a long sermon by asking me to preach on 1 Corinthians 15 during his memorial service.  Then all of you who knew Doug well, know that he had a lot to say and wanted to make sure that each of us understood what God’s Word is saying about the subject of death and the resurrection.  So, I’ll make this a brief explanation of what Doug is going through right now to give all of you the hope and assurance that he had wished that each of us would share with him now and for eternity.  Oh, I’m sure that Doug would have a lot more to say about the hope and assurance given to us by God in death and in the resurrection of all believers to God’s Glory. Still he has told us his thoughts in the three books that he wrote. So, if you want to know what Doug wanted to tell you about the reason for death and the assurance of eternal life through the resurrection, pick up a couple of Doug’s book and start reading.

So, what am I going to be talking about?  Well the Apostle Paul is talking to us and the Corinthians about death, the resurrection and eternal life, so that’s where I’ll get started.  The Apostle Paul says: “So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.” (1 Cor. 15:42) Hopefully we all know that we are sinful in our natural bodies and that makes our bodies here on this earth weak and susceptible to weaknesses, illness and eventually death. Doug got to know the weakness of his natural human body as we all do, but at the same time He also came to know more and more about the new body that God would be giving to him through the work of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in his life. God made us originally from the dust of the earth with His own hand perfectly in His image.  Adam though, our original ancestor fell into sin, just like we all have and thus we have the pain, suffering and sorrow that we are feeling today. The result of that original sin and our sin brings death to our natural bodies. That’s the bad side of the situation that we are all feeling, the pain of sorrow because someone we loved, Doug McKay, is no longer here with us physically.

Then there is the hope given to us by the work of Jesus Christ, who conquer sin and took upon Himself all our sins to make the full and final payment for them and He rose again after His death to given us the assurance of our resurrection. The Apostle Paul says it this way, “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 Cor. 15:43 – 44)

Doug’s and our bodies will be sown back into the dirt of this earth that God made us from when we die in dishonor and weakness because of our sins. Jesus payed the penalty for all our sins and rose from the grave three days after His death on the cross of Calvary, so that we can rise to be in the glory of God forever and in the power of God through our new spiritual bodies.  Martin Luther let his imagination run wild and explained the power and glory that we will have with our resurrected spiritual bodies in this way. “We will be so strong that with one finger we will be able to carry this church, with one toe we will be able to move a tower and play with a mountain as a child plays with a ball, and in the twinkling of an eye we will be able to leap to the clouds and traverse a hundred miles.” (LW 28:188)

So, let your imagination go wild for a little bit and imagine what Doug is going to be doing with all that glory and power of his spiritual resurrected body in heaven.  I’ll guarantee you that he wouldn’t be sitting around and he will be looking for something fun to do with all of us who are up there with him. I think that’s the whole point of Doug having me talk to you about these verses in 1st Corinthians 15, to encourage each and every one of you to hold onto the hope and assurance that he is living right now and for all eternity. Hold onto and never let go of the promises that God has given to you and accomplished for you through Jesus Christ.

There in more to life than what you are experiencing here on this earth and you can have that incredible life that Doug is going to enjoy after his resurrection on that final day of this earth by holding onto God’s love, forgiveness and mercy now and it will be with you for eternity with Doug and with all the other Saints of God.

The Apostle Paul says it this way, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” (1 Cor. 15:50-53)

What is Doug doing right now?  Waiting for each of us and that final trumpet to sound when we will all be changed and our perishable and mortal bodies will become immortal bodies in the perfect love, peace and joy of God’s Glory, with a power and a life that we can only dream about in this world of sorrow, suffering and pain. Yes, Doug is waiting for us and when he awakes from his sleep he will have a zest for life that we can’t even imagine in our wildest imagination, but then if we’re there with him, in God’s Glory enjoying God’s perfect love, peace and joy, we too will all have the same zest for our life eternal as Doug has.  The Apostle Paul says it this way, ‘When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”’ (1 Cor. 15:54-55)

Jesus Christ by His live, death and resurrection gives us the victory that Doug and all believer will enjoy for all eternity in God’s Glory. Doug wants each and every one of us to be there with him.  Doug knows that it wouldn’t be easy holding onto the faith that God has given to us and is working on our lives in this world, because he went through all those hard times that we will be going through.  That’s why Doug wants us to remember, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:56-57)

The life and salvation that Jesus Christ won for us is the victory that each of us need to live for in the love, peace and joy of God forever. That’s what Doug wanted to share with each of us while he was with us in this world and the greater and even more glorious life that we can live for all eternity with Doug and all believers. It all comes from holding onto the victory that God has given to us by the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in our lives forever.  Hold onto your faith in Jesus Christ and get ready to live life to the fullest with Doug for eternity.  Amen.