Friday, February 26, 2010

Micah's Black Eye

On our computer at home is our last picture of Micah. The picture is very difficult for me to see, as it was taken after he fell from his high chair and before he choked on the pea. The picture shows the black eye that he sustained from hitting his head on the ground.

Heather and I have often wondered what Micah will look like when we see him again, whether that is at our deaths or at the Second Coming of Jesus. Will Micah look different than the last time I saw him, laying on that hospital bed, his little body now lifeless? Or will he have aged? When we do see him, will he have that black eye?

While the Bible doesn’t give us a complete description of our glorified bodies, it is clear that Micah’s glorified body will be greater than the body that was put in the little grave at Lakewood Cemetery. In 1 John 3, the apostle John says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” We can live in the hope that we will have glorified bodies, and these bodies will be like Jesus’ glorified body.

Following Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of the disciples on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Luke 24:13-18. For some time, Jesus did not allow himself to be recognized by his own disciples. But after they sat down together, the disciples recognized him. It is noteworthy that the disciples were not immediately started in seeing Jesus; Jesus was not some other-worldly ghost or alien-type figure. While they did not recognize him immediately as Jesus, they did recognize him as a man. When Jesus later appeared to all of his disciples, they were so startled to see him that they thought that they were seeing a ghost. (Luke 24: 37). But Jesus convinced them that he was no ghost. Jesus showed them the scars in his hands and feet, and he ate with them. Jesus' glorified body was, to the extent that he allowed it, recognizable to others.

In 1 Corinthians 15: 35-58, Paul devotes a considerable amount of time to discuss our resurrected bodies. He uses the analogy of a seed planted in the earth to describe how the death of our earthly bodies will be used for the flowering of our resurrected bodies. “Someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-38 (ESV). “...So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 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.” (v.42-44)

Our heavenly bodies will be even better than the bodies we had on earth. The last time I saw Micah’s body on earth, I left his body on a bed in the Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital. His body was beatten and battered; first from the fall itself, then later from all of the tubes, sensors, ventilators and other medical attention he received in the hospital. When we last left him, his little brain had no function left. He did not even have the ability to breathe on his own. His body was a seed.

When Jesus died, his physical body was beaten and bruised. Lashes upon lashes, a brow that had been beated and covered with thorns. His hands and feet pierced by the nails that stuck him to the cross on Calvary. When his disciples saw Jesus again, they saw him raised in glory and power--they saw him eating and breathing and then, eventually, ascending directly into heaven. Even in his glorified body, though, Jesus had his scares.

When we see Micah again, his body will be free of the effects of the traumatic events leading to his death. Instead, he will be raised in power and splendor—to God’s glory. He will be jabbering and laughing (and speaking?); crawling or maybe walking (and running?). He will have the brain function far greater than he had before the accident. He will be stronger and healthier than he ever was during his 9 months on earth.

If Jesus's resurrected body had scars from his time on earth, perhaps Micah's resurrected body will also have visible scars. But just as Jesus' scars demonstrate God's glory for our salvation, through Christ's suffering and death, Micah's black eye would bring further glory to God. If, when I see Micah again, he does have that black eye, I can rest assured that it will somehow bring God more glory for what he has done through and for Micah.

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