The Bible in a Year: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
In 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, St. Paul states, “Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (NRSV). He then goes on to explain that our mortal bodies will no longer be perishable. In other words, when we die, we are changed into something new! Our bodies must put on immortality and imperishability – and when this happens, the victory of death has been fulfilled!
However, here is the thing…Jesus does not think of death the same our human minds think of death. I believe that one of the hardest things about Christianity is that nothing is as it seems or the typical way we would think about things. In fact, our human minds have difficulty thinking with the mind of Jesus Christ and seeing the world through His lens. It’s a flip and takes intentionality, practice, and being in the Word.
The meaning of death for Jesus is Sin. St. Paul states, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56). Sin is the number one barrier between us and God. We cannot follow God’s Law! Jesus would say that sin is death. However, when we acknowledge our sin and repent, our sins are forgiven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross!
So, here is what I do know and believe: Because of the Cross- Jesus Christ, we are forgiven daily; therefore, we are changed in “The Twinkle of an Eye,” right here – right now! We are changed and transformed into the likeness of Christ through the waters of our baptism and when we partake in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ! It happens – In the “The Twinkle of an Eye!” We can know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we will never die! We can know that right now! We can have “imperishability and immortality” right now while living here on earth!
St. Paul is absolutely right! It is a mystery. We will never understand it. We will never be able to figure it all out. But, Jesus Christ does it! He does it to us, through us, and within us! And, at the “last trumpet,” we will be standing face-to-face before our Lord!
ILet us pray. Lord Jesus, death is a mystery. Help us to focus on this LIFE – right here and right now! Help us to acknowledge our sin and come to you for your grace and forgiveness that you so abundantly give to us. Change us! In the twinkle of an eye, give us the life you want us to have– and on that last trumpet, we will look forward to standing before you face to face! Amen.