Different Yet The Same
It is one of the most amazing accounts in the Bible, and absolutely one of my favorites: the last Chapter of the Gospel of John. Seven men in the most natural setting you can imagine talked and ate with a risen Jesus; He whom they knew to be crucified and who had been placed dead in a tomb just days earlier. In the first minutes of daybreak as the sun’s rays began to creep across the Sea of Galilee, these close friends who had been fishing all night with no success suddenly saw a figure on the shore watching them. Asking them if they caught any fish, while knowing the answer, He told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. Immediately their net swelled with a big school of large fish. Who was this “stranger? It was John who put it together; “It is the Lord, he quietly said to Peter. The statement exploded with recognition in Peter’s head and in seconds he was in the water. He couldn’t wait for the boat to reach shore.
Waiting on shore was a charcoal fire going strong with cooked fish ready to eat. The Lord Jesus was different, as He was to the two disciples walking to Emmaus the afternoon of the resurrection day, yet He was the same! Recognition was not immediate, but they knew who this was. No doubts whatsoever. Awe, yet certainty filled their eyes. No need to ask, “Is it really you? There were other appearances between the resurrection and the ascension; over 500 people could attest that Jesus was alive! The proof of His resurrection is irrefutable; except for the blind who will not consider the evidence. It is not that they can’t believe it for lack of facts; it is that they will not believe it. It is their voluntary choice to remain steeped in ignorance.
He had the scars of the crucifixion in his body. What He said brought back memories, yet opened their minds to understand all He had taught them in a new and powerful perspective. It so cemented the truth in their hearts and minds that they would willingly die in spreading the message of life to a dying world. His body was different in that it was incorruptible, yet the same in that they knew it was the Lord whom they walked with for about 3 years; ate and talked with, and touched (I John 1:1). Here in this account is the living proof and visible expression of Paul’s description of a resurrection body in I Corinthians 15. It is a difficult passage to visualize, the difference between an earthly body and one that is like the man of heaven, as Paul writes. But this is what the Lord shows the disciples on the shore of Galilee, and in all the appearances before the ascension. Here we see glimpses of the resurrected body we shall have one day; different, yet the same.
What kind of body do you want for eternity? In any case the body you now have has a glory fit for an earthly body. The resurrected body has a glory fit for eternity. Though you cannot now know or see what yours will be, two facts are clear: you will be known as you, and you will be satisfied with the body God gives, just as He gave you a body for this life. You should be satisfied with what He has given you in this life simply because He chose it for you. You will be satisfied with your body for eternity because the glory of it is like the man of heaven, who walked several days ago (a thousand years is as a day, and a day is as a thousand years) along the shore of Galilee and enjoyed fellowship with His friends as they talked and ate fish and bread together. I do not think you have to worry about what you will look like for eternity; it’s in the right hands!
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