Q: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A: At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgement, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
We got into this a little bit with the last blog post when I reminded us that the final and great hope for the Christian is the bodily resurrection. This is because, again, mankind was not created to be merely a spiritual being, but rather, we were created to be spiritual and physical creatures. Or, to quote Leslie Newbigin, "The human person is not a mind attached to a body, but a single psychosomatic being." And, as last week's scripture reference reminds us, it is not only the elect who can expect a bodily resurrection, but also the reprobate. "An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgement." (Jn 5:28-29)
This resurrection of the body is what this week's catechism is about. Believers in Jesus Christ will be raised up in glory and remarkably, before the great judgement seat of God himself, will be declared finally and wholly righteous before the just and holy God. But notice the full circle the catechism makes. Remember back to question 1 of the catechism, "What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever." The catechism here has that chief end in mind when it says that believers shall be "made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity". On the final day, when God recreates the heavens and the earth, when God gives us new, glorified, perfected, resurrected bodies, then will we finally and perfectly experience that which we were created to do. Then we will finally know what it means to glorify and enjoy God perfectly, without the burden of sin laid upon our backs, forever!