A meditation on the evening of Easter, April 7, 1985, with the congregation of St. James (Anglican, Episcopalian) Kingston, Ontario by Robert Brow (

During Lent we had a series of sermon on presenting our body as a living sacrifice. We thought about various parts of our body, eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet. The problem is that each of these parts of our physical body is destroyed when we die. They will be disintegrated quickly by an atom bomb, or by cremation, or more slowly in a grave.

But of course it is impossible for us to be persons in heaven without eyes to see others, ears to hear music, a mouth to talk and enjoy eating with others, hands to touch them, or feet to dance and move around. Our heavenly eyes, and ears, and hands, and feet, may not function like the ones we have in this life. But a bit later in this service we will say in the Apostles Creed "I believe in the Resurrection of the body." That means we do not expect to be disembodied shadowy souls merely existing for ever.

The assurance that we will be people with warm, live bodies to enjoy heaven is based on the fact that it was Jesus' resurrection body that met with the disciples in a variety of situations during the 40 days after his resurrection. That is why Paul said "if the Messiah has not been raised from the dead, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:14). It is seeing the account of his resurrection body in the Gospels that gives us faith in our own resurrection.

Let's have a quick look to see how he made this clear to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Some people think Cleopas was walking with his wife.  I will just read to you and comment on some verses from our reading in Luke's Gospel:

Read 24:13-16 As the two disciples were on the road to Emmaus, Jesus walked along with them. He was not just floating in the air like a ghost, but he actually joined them on the walk. That means we also will enjoy walks with others in heaven. Who would you want to walk with there?

Read 24:17-21 Not only were the two disciples discussing but Jesus joined in the discussion by asking questions. That incidentally is the best way to discuss with others. Let others talk, listen carefully, and avoid recounting a long catalogue of all your aches and pains. Since Jesus was able to talk and ask questions, we will also be able to ask questions in heaven. Have you got any questions you would like to ask? And who would you want to talk to among all the billions of perfected totally loving people you will meet there?

Read 24:25-27 Having asked his questions Jesus was able to explain how the Bible related to what was puzzling them. All of us have questions about the meaning of this and that in the Bible. You might find some here on earth who could answer some of your questions. But it is good to say "Lord, that is a question I want to ask you in heaven." He might of course answer "Paul had some good explanations in his epistles, but now looking at it from our point of view in heaven he has got it totally clear. When you join us here, you will be able to talk to him and many others."

Read 24:28-30 One of the joys of life here on earth is being able to eat together with our family, and church family, and other friends. If there was to be no eating in heaven, it would not be heaven. But you can't eat without a body. It doesn't have to be a flesh and blood body such as we have now. But Jesus certainly had a resurrection body which could enjoy eating with others (as in Luke 24:30, 41-43, John 21:12-13). That assures us that none of the pleasures of eating together, or any other pleasures of this life, will be any less in the perfect joys of heaven. We can't imagine God saying "You have had your pleasures on earth. That's it. Now you get a dull boring time in heaven." As Paul said, "If for this life only we have hoped in the Messiah, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Read 24:31 Jesus' resurrection body was not limited, as ours is, by having to be located in only one place at a time. He could come and go wherever he chose. In this life many long to visit other places, and see the glory of other peoples. In heaven we will be free to move wherever we choose and enjoy "the glory and honor of the nations" (Revelation 21:26).

Once we are sure of the resurrection of Jesus' body, and our own bodily resurrection, it does not result in making life in this earthly body meaningless. We can look at the damaged and limited bodies of others, and our own, and see beyond them to what they will be in their perfect form. We can respect the most insignificant persons and see them as supremely important. What we and they are now is just a foretaste of what we will be. "No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

So I invite you to join with me in this Prayer "O God my Father, I am amazed at what you have prepared for me in my resurrection body. Help me to love and respect others in the imperfections of their bodies. . And free me to use my earthly body to make known the good news of your purposes."

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