Saturday, June 14, 2014

Every person will receive a new body during the Second Coming ( part 6 )- St. Epifanios, Bishop of Cyprus

How is death not beneficial, since it eradicates all the things that ravage our human nature?
But so that we do not repeat the same things
over and over again, let us confirm this by examining the Ode in the book of Deuteronomy.

When God says, “I will kill, and I will make alive; I will wound and I will also heal. And there is no one who will deliver out of My hands” (Dt.32:39), what else is He trying to teach us other than that the body is first killed and dies precisely for this reason: so that it may again be resurrected and live? It is first struck and shattered so that it may again be recreated healthy and whole. And there is nothing at all that can deliver and snatch [man] from the great and mighty hand of the Lord, in order to destroy and eliminate him: not fire, not death, not darkness, not chaos, not even corruption.

God did not adorn the entire creation in vain, but in order for it to remain forever, just as the book of Wisdom attests: “For He created all things that they might exist, and the generations of the world so they might be preserved, and there is no poison of death in them” (WSol. 1:14).

The Apostle Paul clearly affirms the same when he states, “The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility not
willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God”
(Rom. 8:19-21).

Hence, the creation joyfully awaits to be restored to a better and more beautiful state,and it rejoices
as it looks forward to the resurrection of God’s children, with whom it “groans and labors with birth pangs together until now”(Rom. 8:22). 

It does so in expectation of our deliverance (and the deliverance of even the body itself) from corruption, when we will cast away the mortality of the flesh as we are resurrected, according to the scriptural verse: “Shake off the dust and rise up. Sit down, O Jerusalem”(Isa. 52:2).

And as the Apostle confirms:“Not only
that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body”(Rom. 8:23). 

St. Epifanios, Bishop of Cyprus
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