How Spring Flowers Perfectly Mirror the Resurrection of the Dead
We Too Must First Die and be Buried in the Ground Before we can Attain to the Resurrection of the Dead
T he weather was recently beautiful in our part of the country (though it didn't last), and it was wonderful to see crocus, daffodils, snowdrops and primroses all flowering together in early spring. It got me thinking how a plant arising from winter dormancy is a perfect illustration of the resurrection of the dead. Do we ever think about this?
Paul the Apostle wrote about this in his 'resurrection chapter' of 1 Corinthians 15. Let's look at what he wrote:
35. But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" 36. How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. (1 Corinthians 15:35-41).
A few had apparently asked Paul how the dead would be resurrected, with what kind of body would they rise? (vs 35), he pointed out that there could be no resurrection without a death! (vs 36). He immediately switches to the farming/growing cycle for an illustration. He points out that everybody who plants a seed, or a bulb, already exercises faith, fully expecting that, in the spring, those dried-up, shrivelled and dead looking seeds, bulbs or corms will burst into life. When that new life comes it is bright and spectacular - nothing at all like those sad, dried-up looking things which were sown into the soil. So we do not plant the body that will be, yet God gives it a body as He has determined, and to each seed He gives its own body. (verses 37-38).
Do we ever consider with wonder how those dried-up looking things which we plant (usually in autumn) can burst into such splendid looking flowers and plants only a few weeks later? We should, Paul the Apostle tells us. It is indeed a wonder, and a perfect mirror of the resurrection of the dead to come! In the case of spring bulbs we perhaps have the most spectacular and compelling vista and resurrection 'taster.' Can those beautiful crocus, snowdrops or daffodils swaying in the spring breeze really be those dry, hopeless-looking seeds or bulbs which you planted so recently? The answer, of course, is yes, so Paul says don't marvel at the resurrection of the dead because we all witness a resurrection every year! Paul is saying that God is perfectly capable of supplying a new body to something that had plainly died, don't even worry about it! - for to each kind of seed He gives its own body. (vs 38).
Similarly, we too must first die and be buried in the ground before we can attain to the resurrection of the dead, and just as those spring flowers are stunning and miraculous in their new bodies, so too will we be!
24. "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live." (John 5:24-25; NIV throughout).
Robin A. Brace. February 22nd, 2017.