(Article for publication week of 9-10- AD 2015)
"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John 6:39).
Our text this week is chock full of theology. We have the blessed doctrine of the Trinity in our text; we have the Eternal Son-ship of Christ; we have the incarnation of Christ; we have the doctrine of election; we have the doctrine of the saints' final perseverance; and we have the glorious doctrine of the resurrection of the body. Our text takes us back into eternity past when God gave His elect to His Son and appointed Him to be their federal Head and Surety, and carries us into eternity future when the saved by grace shall be finally and eternally glorified. God's redemptive purpose shall be complete when our bodies are raised up from the grave and rejoined to our happy souls and so shall we ever be with Christ.
Christ's redemption of His people includes the redemption of their bodies. Christ died to save us in our complete person. He died to save us, body and soul. In Romans 8:23 we read, "we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body." Christ will lose nothing for which He died (read our text again), and that includes our physical bodies. As Man fell in his whole person, so he must be redeemed in his whole person.
Our text reminds us that we are not only saved from the penalty, power, and pollution of sin, but that we shall finally be saved from the very presence of sin. In other words, we need to see not only what we have been saved from, but what we have been saved to. (I realise you are not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but I couldn't think of a better way to say it; besides I find where the learned men who translated the scriptures into our Mother Tongue often relaxed that rule, as did other learned men in the 17th and 18th centuries.) We have been saved from eternal misery, and saved to eternal happiness which will be enjoyed in our whole person when our bodies are raised.
The resurrection of our bodies will restore completely the Image of God that was marred by the Fall of Man. God created man in His Image (Genesis 1:26). That is, when God looked at His creature Man, He saw a reflection of Himself. When man fell, the Image was shattered. When God looks at Man now, He still sees His Image, but it is greatly distorted. We may illustrate it like this- when you look into a mirror, you see your image. If the mirror falls on the floor and is shattered, you can still see your reflection, but it is a distorted and grotesque reflection. God gave a people to His Son to restore them to His Image. By His atoning death, and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, God's Image is being restored in God's elect. This redemptive work will culminate in the raising of our bodies when all the foreknown of God shall be glorified (Romans 8:29-30). Christ will surely raise up everyone for whom He shed His precious blood and they shall be perfectly and eternally conformed to His Image. He shall change our vile bodies in the Day of the Resurrection and fashion them to be like His glorious body that we may be forever free from sin and able to perfectly glorify and enjoy Him forever. Christ shall lose nothing for which He died, but shall raise it up at the last day.