Los Alamos Church of Christ
Let the Word Dwell
#26 Philippians 3:21
This morning I want to begin by reading 3 short Jesus stories. All these stories happen after the resurrection and before the ascension…that 50 day window between the Passover and the Pentecost. All the stories come from the Gospel of John.
ESV John 20:11-18 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"- and that he had said these things to her.
Mary’s hug is one of the top ten hugs of all time. Mary desperately clings to her Lord. She is determined to never let go of the one she loves so deeply. But she does. In obedience she lets go and does as her Lord commands. The 1st story is about a hug.
ESV John 20:26-29 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Jesus beams into the room. Jesus suddenly appears to the disciples even though the doors are locked. The disciples recognize him. Thomas puts his finger in the hand of the Lord. Thomas sees the scar of where the spear had pierced Jesus. Thomas believes… “My Lord and my God!” The 2nd story is about scars.
ESV John 21:3-14 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Peter must have been bored waiting for Lord. So, he did what he did… he went fishing. Jesus repeats the miracle that recruited Peter… “Cast your net on the other side!” When Peter realizes it is the Lord, he swims to shore. There on the bank Peter finds Jesus fixing breakfast. The third story is about eating fish for breakfast.
Here is the reason I told these stories. It was fun. I enjoy Jesus stories. We need to immerse ourselves in Jesus stories. But, the immediate reason I read these 3 stories is… because of what Paul tells the Philippians at the end chapter 3.
ESV Philippians 3:17-21 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Pick up the flow of Paul’s thought…
--Imitate me. This is powerful advice. Pick those who walk after the example of Christ. Follow those who love the Lord. Connect to those who have their minds set on above.
--Then, Paul gives the opposite advice… don’t follow those who are enemies of the cross. Don’t imitate those who have their minds on earthly things. Those who don’t have the mind of Christ are enemies of the cross. Oh, “mind of Christ”, that is what we studied last week…
#25 Philippians 2:6 Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.
We followed the mind of Christ…
Jesus did not grasp
Jesus made himself nothing
Jesus was obedient to the cross
God exalted him with the name
Every knee will bow before Jesus
We follow the model of Christ. We do not grasp. When we feel the competition of selfishness… we don’t grasp.
We don’t walk as those who set their minds on what is here and now. Rather…
--Our citizenship is in heaven. Our primary loyalty is to our citizenship at the throne of God. We are raised up with him and we are seated with Jesus in the heavenly places. That is where our citizenship is. That is where our mind is. We are on the throne of Christ.
Now we are getting to the reason I read the 3 stories.
--We are waiting on the throne. We are waiting for the Savior. We are waiting for the Savior to come and transform our lowly bodies to be like his body! “Say that again.” We are waiting for the Savior to return from his throne to change our bodies to be like his.
“Wait, wait this is an eschatological verse.” Remember, eschatology is the study of… the last things. Eschatology is what happens next. Eschatology is all about the next life. This is a verse about what is going to happen in the next life.
We have already memorized 2 eschatological verses.
#10 1 Corinthians 15:52 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.
In memory verse #10, I outlined the chronology of eschatology. Let me review.
--First, when Christians die they sleep in the Lord. We don’t go to heaven. We don’t watch over our loved ones from above. We don’t become angels. We RIP. We rest in peace with the Lord.
--From that perspective, the next thing we would know, after death; we are raised to meet Jesus in the air. Throughout the New Testament the promise is the return of Jesus. Jesus promised his followers he would return to this earth.
--Then, we will be changed to be imperishable… our bodies will change.
--Then, we escort Jesus back to the new earth to live with him, here, forever. Just like the conquering generals of old who were met outside the city to form a parade of honor back into the city, we will escort Jesus back to the remodeled earth.
This last event, this remodeling of earth, is memory verse #16 …
#16 Romans 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
This creation is waiting eagerly to be remodeled; to be recreated; to be restored to what it was in the beginning.
Now, we can add #26 Philippians 3:21 to our eschatological verses. We can add what happens to our bodies.
Let’s do some memory work first.
#26 Philippians 3:21a who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body.
Here is why I told the 3 Jesus stories to begin with… we get a Jesus-body in the next life! Jesus will transform our lowly, aging, slow, easily broken, weak, dying bodies into his glorious body. We are going to get a body like the one which appeared to the disciples after the resurrection! “Really?” Really!
On the renewed earth we are going to have a body like Jesus. Which means…
--Our bodies will be recognizable. Mary recognized Jesus when he spoke her name. We will know each other. We will recognize each other. That’s amazing.
--Our bodies will be huggable. I am not a big hugger. But even I like a good hug, occasionally. To those of you who are huggers… this is spectacular news. You will be able to hug each other in the next life. We aren’t floating around like ghosts or disembodied spirits. We will be huggable!
--There will be scars. I’m not sure what to make of this. Jesus still had marks of who he was. What happens in this life makes a difference in the next. The events that make us who we are will be redeemed in the next life to last through eternity. All will be made right. All will be fixed. All will be transformed into good. But we are still who we are.
--We will eat breakfast. We will eat breakfast in the next life. One of the pictures of what happens next is a banquet. I am looking forward to the banquet table of the Lord. I like eating. I will like the next time around.
--It won’t be exactly the same. Jesus was able to beam through locked doors. It is not just this world again. It is a marvelously renewed world where we will live in glory! We will have his glorious body! Our lowly body will be transformed into a glorious body.
The point is when Jesus remodels this world and we are changed into imperishable bodies...these new imperishable bodies will be recognizable, huggable, feastable bodies which we can enjoy for eternity.
As we work on this verse throughout the week, let’s look forward to this body… his glorious body.
#26 Philippians 3:21a who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body,
July 12, 2015
Los Alamos Church of Christ