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Redeeming Creation

• Greg Boyd

Jesus rose on that first Easter Sunday in his physical body. He was not a disembodied ghost. This demonstrates that the resurrection is not merely about the salvation of our souls. It’s about bringing all things into wholeness: the physical experience of our bodies, other creatures and the entire world. In this sermon, Greg calls us into this radical vision of God’s comprehensive salvation.

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Jesus suddenly appears before his disciples who were mourning his death. They assumed he was a ghost, but he proved to them that he was actually returning to them as a physical person. Jesus even ate food. It was the same body he had when crucified. However, this body operated according to some different rules. The risen body appeared out of nowhere, was transported from one place to another, and even walked through walls. It was the same body, but it was transformed. There was physical continuity and discontinuity at the same time.

This is important to recognize because it reveals the grandeur of the resurrection and the degree to which we have made it far too small. We typically think of the resurrection as something that applies to the afterlife of our souls. The body is viewed as having no importance, which means that we end up caring little for the physical experience of our bodies, other creatures, and the world as a whole.

Some ancient Jews believed that people remained unconscious after death until the resurrection at the end of the age. This is called the “soul sleep” doctrine. Other ancient Jews believed that the soul survives death and dwells with the Lord in a disembodied state as they wait for the resurrection at the end of the age. The New Testament seems to reflect this second position.

However, going to be with Jesus when you die is not “going to heaven.” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5 that we long for a resurrected body, our “heavenly dwelling.” Being in a disembodied state is unnatural, as Paul calls it “being naked.” The ultimate hope was not that our disembodied souls will finally escape our body, like the Platonists held. The ultimate hope was for God to resurrect and transform our bodies at the end of the age.

God has no intention of giving up on our physical bodies or this physical creation because they are good, and because what he creates he loves. When God loves something or someone, he fights for them. God never abandons what he loves.

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Topics: Resurrection, Salvation, Transformation

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The MuseCast: April 2

Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 24:36-37

    While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you. They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. Yet for all their joy they were still disbelieving and wondering, and he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

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One thought on “Redeeming Creation

  1. Jerry says:

    Greg fantastic sermon
    I ran into this [somewhat amusing]:
    On one hand, death has mastery over us so:

    No matter how much kale you eat, what cold plunging you do, kombucha you drink, or what probiotics you take; add apple cider vinegar or avocado oil with every meal or eat organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, no carb, non-GMO, grass-feed, locally raised; use an air purifier, diffuser, water filter; detox, sweat out every toxin known to man, drink matcha tea, bone broth, coconut water, almond milk eat chickpeas, chia seeds, sprout foods your still gonna die

    However the good news:

    1 Cor 15: 51-52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

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