In the twinkling of the eye we shall all be changed
In St. Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians, he outlines the most essential element we all will experience. He begins with the Resurrection of Christ, the most prolific event after the Incarnation, crucifixion/death/resurrection of Christ. I put these events in a collective process of one continuing event without a series since they are but one complete answer to God’s miraculous way of forgiving you and me.
When we place these events as a series of experiences they become four or five separate entities and the understanding becomes separate teachings and not one complete event of the God/Man whom his Father ordained from the moment man turned away from God in the first sin.
“Now I am reminding you, brothers,of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand.” “For I handed to you as of importance what I also received; that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” After that he appeared to James, then all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Cor 15: 3 - 9).
Paul was straightforward in his announcement and leaves an open assertion that we are just like him. True we won’t be called apostles, those directly chosen to preach in the same manner, but called and sent forth to extrapolate the good news to all who will listen.
“But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead.” “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty, too, is our preaching, empty too your faith.” (1Cor 15: 12 - 14). This perhaps is the most truthful antidote of believing in the resurrection.
“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.” (1 Cor 15: 20 - 21).
“But someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?”
“You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.” “The resurrection of the dead is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body, If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.” (1 Cor.15: 36, 42 - 44)
“Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we all will be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible , and we shall be changed. For this which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and this which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where O death is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15: 51 - 55).
Ralph B. Hathawa