41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:41-44
The subject of stars intrigues me exceedingly, and I keep coming back to this topic.
When you look up into the sky at night you will notice that all stars are not the same. Some shine brighter than others. There are some, even, which incessantly reflect off different colors, like a diamond turning in the light.
In the Bible, the stars speak of the sons of God. And the Bible says that at the resurrection of the dead, we will differ in our glory.
What determines how believers will shine in heaven is the subject of this portion of scripture. The keyword here is “sown”. It matters very much how we “sow” our lives in this world. This is what will determine how brightly we shine in God’s heavenly Kingdom.
It is natural for us in our human state to desire glory, honor, respect and admiration and everything this world can offer. These are things that we desire if we are not transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. But here the Bible tells us exactly what to seek for if we are to share in the resurrection of the dead in a powerful way – no glory, no honor, no admiration, no profit, no nothing, in this world.
On the contrary, we are to seek to lose.
Apart from the pain that He endured at His crucifixion, and the humiliation that He physically and verbally endured from men when He was here on earth, yet I daresay that the very thought of Him becoming man was probably the biggest affront to Jesus’s nature as a holy God. For this would require Him to put on the body of sinful flesh!
But Jesus humbled Himself and put on that body. And He came and He lived with and in that body of sin in this world of sin for 33 years, and He did not commit a single sin. The Bible says He was tried in every area of His life. Every area! Each part of His flesh was touched by temptation.
Y’know, I write this blog and a dear friend once commented to me that my face looks like the face of Jesus! True to my stupid nature, instead of crying I laughed! Probably the only saving grace is that I laughed out of bitterness.
I probably am more handsome than Jesus was in the flesh. But I am also assured that in the list of things that matter with God, a sweet face is not there. And my friend certainly had no way of knowing some things about me.
My friend had no way of knowing that one of the things that astounds me beyond belief is the depth of the pride in my heart. Not someone else’s, no, but mine. Scientists have declared that the universe is infinite, which means that only God can know the ends of it. In the same way, I also have come to the conclusion that the heart of man is unfathomable. Only God can plumb its depths.
That is why our Lord Jesus deserves so much glory, admiration and honor. Would you believe that the Lord Jesus did not have an iota of pride in Him? Nothing of it in what He thought, did or spoke. In His fathomless heart, Jesus had not an iota of pride or any kind of sin. Think about that.
There is no word sufficient to describe that state of affairs, or that kind of heart. The word “incredible” is a miserable understatement here. Jesus did what no man can even think of attaining to – and all while having on the very same body of sin that we have. And because He wrought this great victory on our behalf we, too, ought to walk in that same victory over sin as He did.
That is why we need to pray for a clearer and clearer revelation of the cross, so that we may learn to lose our lives more and more through the trying of our faith, for the express purpose of attaining to the hope of shining like one of the brightest stars in the heavens at the resurrection.
[Below: Some neighborly friends]
Resurrection, stars, pride, Jesus, glory, humility