We all have heard the old story about a man loaning his car to a friend only for his friend having to replace lights, brakes, seats, steering wheel and eventually the engine. After changing all the parts on the car, does the original car exist and does the repaired car belong to the original owner? This is a variation of a tale almost as old as history. It was as far as we can tell first supposedly proposed by the mythical king Theseus, supposed founder of Athens. He spoke of a ship instead of a car.
I mention this because of I Corinthians 15 where Paul speaks of resurrection morning when this corruption puts on incorruption. We are given new bodies that will never age. “Death is swallowed up in victory.” Obviously we are not the sum of our parts if we are still us after all the parts are changed. The atoms in you and me have likely been in some other person in times past.
Some of you might be thinking about now, “Why this nonsense?” I believe it relates to the question posed by the Psalmist in Psalm 8, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”
In I Corinthians 15 Paul tells us our resurrection body will be as different as an acorn is from a fully grown oak tree. And yet we will still be us. Our identities, our minds are treasured by our Heavenly Father because we are His daughters and sons. The question isn’t who are we. It’s what are we?
Written by Roger Bothwell on July 15, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574