Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Every person will receive a new body during the Second Coming ( part 7 ) - St. Epifanios, Bishop of Cyprus
Why then did God not make man an angel, if He desired man to become an angel instead of a human being? Was He perhaps unable to do so?
To make such a claim is blasphemy. Did He perhaps put off making something better in order to create something worse first. This is also
God does not err when it comes to creating what is good, nor does He postpone, nor is He incapable. Rather, He has the power of doing what He wants when He wants. And so, He created man in the
beginning, desiring for him to be and to remain
a human being. If God desired this, and if He desires what is good, then, it follows, that man is good; and man is comprised of both a soul and a body. Hence, man is not bodiless,but he has a body, so that he does not turn into something other than a human being. It is necessary for God to preserve all the immortal beings He created
as they are. For, as the Wisdom of Solomon states,
“God created man for immortality and made him an image of His own eternity” (WSol. 2:23).
Hence, the human body will not vanish; for man
consists of a soul and a body. Pay attention to how the Lord teaches this very same thingto the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the body.
In order to discount the teaching of the resurrection of the body,“the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,”states the Gospel, “came to Him” (Mt. 22:23), and they posed a question to Christ concerning a certain lady who was
supposedly married to seven brothers.
If there will be no resurrection of the body, and if only man’s soul will be saved, then Christ would
have agreed with them and admitted that their way of thinking was proper and correct. However, He responded thus:“In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in Heaven” (Mt. 22:30).
He said this not because people will not have a body, but because they will thereafter live in incorruption, no longer being married or given
unto marriage. Just as the angels in Heaven, we also will dwell in Paradise no longer occupied
with weddings, but with beholding God, and
reaping life, as Christ presides over us.
He did not say “they will become angels,” but
“as angels”; that is, “crowned with glory and honor; differing a little than the angels” (Ps. 8:6), and very close to being angels.
Therefore, it is most illogical to conclude that the bodies of the saints will not be resurrected because Christ states that they will appear as angles during the Resurrection. The word “resurrection” itself clearly indicates that this event will indeed occur.
For, a resurrection takes place not when something
has not fallen, but it occurs when something that has fallen rises up again, just as when the prophet states, “I shall raise up the fallen tabernacle of David” (Amos 9:11). What falls is that which dies,
not that which does not die. The body dies; for the soul is immortal.
If then the soul is immortal, whereas the body is what lies dead, they who believe in the resurrection but simultaneously maintain that man will be without a body in fact deny the resurrection.
For not what is standing, but that which has fallen is raised up, according to the scriptural verse,
“Will not he who falls arise? Or he who turns away, will he not return?” (Jer. 8:4).
St. Epifanios, Bishop of Cyprus