Body and Soul

Lindsey Jodts, Groups Pastor, South Barrington | September 12, 2023

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised 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. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 
1 Corinthians 42-44

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
Revelation 21:3

Take a deep breath. Become aware of how you are feeling right now—are you anxious? Calm? Tired? Energized?

As you become aware of that feeling, take notice of where you experience that feeling in your body. For me, anxiety lives in the front of my throat—like a tightening cord or strangled voice. Shame lives in the front of my body—my face, my forearms, and my hands. Empathy and compassion reside deep in my abdomen. 

Why is it that we can identify intangible experiences—feelings, memories, or thoughts—with physical sensations? Because our bodies and our spirits are intertwined. Still not sure? Ask yourself—where does my body end and my spirit begin? Why can’t I tell?

In the beginning, God created a human from dust and breathed life into it, and then it became a living being. It was not first a spirit that was wrapped in flesh, nor was it animated flesh given a soul, but the two actions happened in tandem, and the result was the first of all humankind. 

When it came time to repair the damage done by human rebellion and bring about redemption and reconciliation, a disembodied spirit of God did not act, but the word became flesh and dwelled among us. Why? 

Because our bodies matter. The reality that we are both body and soul matters. 

When many think of heaven, they envision some disembodied “other” place—maybe not the robed angels in the clouds of a New Yorker cartoon, but something otherworldly, intangible. It’s hard to imagine, knowing the reality of physical death as part of our human experience, that there’s any coming back from that. But the story of the Bible shows us that there’s more to the story for our bodies than what we can see in our current reality. 

Revelation 21 gives us a very tangible description of the hope we are all longing for—the day when heaven and earth meet, the new Jerusalem becomes a glorious garden-city from which all life flows abundant, and a very real, very embodied Jesus sits on a throne. 

As we look toward the hope of heaven, of resurrection, of our forever paradise with Jesus, remember, you are not simply a soul wrapped in skin, waiting for your floaty, disembodied paradise. You are an embodied creation longing for the fullness of all that can be delighted in when our bodies are raised in their truest, most glorious form and we experience life eternal in the presence of Jesus.

Next Steps 

Try a practice that engages both your body and your spirit—maybe a prayer walk, art journaling, or raising your arms or moving your body during a worship song. When you do, take notice of how engaging your body enhances the experience.