The Resurrection Body of Christ the Lord, Part 10

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9.

by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D.

When the true church, the spiritual body of Christ, finally experiences “the marriage supper of the Lamb” just before His second coming to the earth, she will be a spectacular bride, clothed “in fine linen, clean and white” (Rev. 19:8, KJV). Part of that bride was the church at Corinth, beset with carnality and various heresies. Paul wrote to them: “I am jealous over you 899783_crosses.jpgwith godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ ” (2 Cor. 11:2).

Even John the Baptist, though not a part of the body of Christ (cf. Matt. 11:11), anticipated that ultimate marriage event: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom [i.e., John the Baptist], which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled” (John 3:29).

So John will be among the invited guests! “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9). The bride will not be invited to her own wedding. It will be Old Testament believers, culminating in John, of whom the Lord Jesus spoke: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist … For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matt. 11:11, 13). Also invited will surely be those who will have died in faith during the Great Tribulation.

Infinitely more important, of course, than the appearance of the bride will be the appearance of the Bridegroom Himself! Our glory will be a mere reflection of His glory. Right now, we have the incomparable privilege of being “sons of God” (1 John 3:1, 2) through faith in His blood payment on the cross, confirmed by His bodily resurrection from the dead. However, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

The most profound change we will experience when we see Him will be the permanent disappearance of our sin natures. Even now, this expectation is transforming, for “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). His absolute holiness will be the basic moral attribute He will reveal to us at that supper. Therefore, we must “follow … holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Thankfully, we will not cry out in terror when we see Him, like Isaiah the prophet did: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips … for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isa. 6:5). The difference was that Isaiah still had his sin nature and was therefore devastated when he heard the seraphim (angels) calling out to one another near God’s throne: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts” (Isa. 6:3).

At the marriage supper, the church will not only have been glorified by resurrection or rapture, but each Christian will also have been examined by Christ and either rewarded or deprived of a reward on the basis of post-conversion motives and conduct (1 Cor. 3:9-15). Though no mere human will ever become divine, we will have glorified bodies and will thus be able to share in that heavenly supper with One who is a divine Person with a compete human nature, including a body: “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Col. 2:9, 10).

whitcomb3.jpg Dr. John C. Whitcomb has been a professor of Old Testament and theology for more than 50 years and is widely recognized as a leading biblical scholar. He taught at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN) from 1951-1990 and gained much recognition for his work on The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company), which he co-authored with Dr. Henry Morris in 1961. That book has been credited as one of the major catalysts for the modern Biblical creationism movement. His ministry homepage is Whitcomb Ministries, and his sermons are available at SermonAudio.com.
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