Pastor Mark Scott's Blog
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June 23, 2017, 12:00 AM

Heaven Is Gonna Be Such A Blast

5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. (Mark 16:5)

I was doing my quiet time reading this week and found myself in chapter 16 of the gospel of Mark. It contains the resurrection story which includes the appearance of three women at the tomb on Sunday morning. That itself is an interesting note since we are introduced to three different women, by name, which none of the other gospel writes do, at least to this extent. The three women are noted as Mary Magdalene, which is by far, the best known of the failthful women who followed and supported Jesus and his disciples. The other two, interestingly enough, were probably Moms of three of the twelve disciples. One is also known as Mary and tradition suggests that she was the Mom of James, The Less. I have always thought that a bit of a funny way to describe anybody. Can you imagine that guy showing up at a gathering of single adults at a church fellowship and saying, "Hi everyone, I'm James, the Less". Probably not the best way to make an impact on your future bride! For what its worth, his name might be explained by something so simple as he may have been the shorter one of the two James that were disciples of Jesus.

The other woman is named Solome, and tradition has also suggested that she was the Mother of the other James, along with his brother, John. They are also sometimes referred to as the sons of Zebedee. If this is true, this is the same woman who unflatteringly is exposed in the scriptures as the Mom who has Jesus to be certain that her sons occupied the two seats on his immediate right and left when his Kingdom came into power. (Matthew 20:20-28)

But, I digress from the purpose of this particular blog entry. What really caught my eye was the mention in verses 5-7 of a young man seated inside on the right side of the tomb. While Mark doesn't explain the identity of this young man, I think based upon the other three gospel writers description of the tomb experiences, that this was almost certainly an angel who had the appearance of a young man.

By the way, the drawing that is shown at the top of this entry comes from a collection called, "Phillip Medhurst Collection of Biblical Illustrations". From what I was able to find in researching that collection, it appears to have taken place in the mid-1800's in England. However, most of the sketches included in it date back another three or four hundred years earlier. So, this copy of the particular sketch may be taken from the original which may have been constructed more than five hundred years ago.

The reason I bring all of this up is that as I read these verses again more closely, I felt as if the Lord were showing me some really wonderful things about what heaven is going to be like.  In no particular order, five things jumped out at me about what life is going to be like in our resurrected bodies.

1. This is quite obvious, but, our bodies are going to be visible ones. We will not be some whispery vapor, no Casper the Ghost floating around on a cloud. This angel's presence was as real and viable as any other person on earth has ever appeared.

2. Our bodies will be a recognizable ones. While they did not know this particular young man, we know from at least two other scriptural occasions that people from heaven are recognizable. When Peter, James and John accompany Jesus on to the Mount of Transfiguration, they look up and see Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. I am pretty sure no one was wearing name tags that day but they were clearly identifiable to the three disciples although there time on early pre-dated when they were living by hundreds of years. More powerfully, when Jesus spent his forty days of earth after the resurrection, all of his followers immidately recognized him while he was in their presence. What I think this means that is so great, is that in heaven, not only will recognize the people there we previously knew on earth, we will have such magnified intelligence and awareness that we will immediately know who EVERYONE in heaven is. How great is that!

3. Our bodies will be powerful ones. In verses 3-4, the women are shown wondering how they are going to be able to get into the tomb since the stone barred entry from the outside and escape from the inside. Josh McDowell in his excellent writings about the death and resurrection of Jesus suggests that the rock may have been so large to have weighed in excess of 1,000 pounds. However, the stone is rolled away and the implication is that this young man, this one angel, was more than capable of doing that which for an ordinary human being is impossible. The abilities of our resurrected bodies will be so amazingly more powerful in every respect to the current limitations that we face. 

4. Our bodies will be youthful ones. I admit that there was a time in my life when I didn't appreciate this fact nearly as much as I do today at the age of 63. I remember how great it was to have a young body which tight, fresh, unaged, and an unlined skin. Those days are long gone! However, this angel's appearance suggests to be something so wonderful about heaven. When we finally come home, there will be no more old age appearance, no more old aged maladies, and no more old aged illnesses. When I think about that, Paul's word in 2 Corinthians 5:17 take on new meaning for me. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation...the old is gone, the new has come!".

5. I have saved the best for last. The young man was dressed in a white robe. Everytime we see the color white in the New Testament, it refers to holiness - an absence of the presence of sin. That can only mean one thing. Our bodies will be purified ones. We will be creatures without sin, without the influences of sin, without the imaginations of sin, and best of all, without the destructive impact  that sin has had on our minds, spirits, souls, and bodies. But, praise God, no more!

Isaiah said it first (Isaiah 64:4)  and then Paul quoted him in 1 Corinthians 2:9;

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

If that were not enough to whet the appetite for heaven, add unto it these words of the Apostle John, in 1 John 3:2.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Sometimes, it almost more than I can take in - to imagine what a day that will be.


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