In this passage, Paul talks a lot about both the physical and spiritual aspects of our being. He points out that "the first man Adam" is the origin of our physical body, while the "last Adam" is the reason we are able to have a second, spiritual body. Through the life and death of Christ, we have been given an element of our being that is eternal. We live bearing both the "image of the man of dust", and the "image of the man of heaven". Our lives here on earth should look drastically different to those around us, simply because we have the knowledge that this physical life and body is not all that we have. We are spiritual beings.
Paul also brings up something we too often forget- the fact that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable". Though the passage references that one day God will unite the physical and spiritual world (vs. 52-54), we can't live our lives focusing on the physical while forgetting the spiritual. It's easy to give in to our physical bodies and their wants, but as Christians, we are called to live a life where we have our sights set on Heaven rather than on earth.
Maybe the most moving part of this passage is the reassurance we receive that in the end, death will not have the final say. "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?". In a world where death can seem so frightening and so final, we live knowing that death has been swallowed up. It is not victorious and it has not won. Though this doesn't always lessen the pain of losing a family member or friend, it is a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness to us and His promise to us that He is victorious, even over death.
Pray that God would continuously remind you that you are more than dust and bones. You are a spiritual being, loved by your creator more than you'll ever know. Pray that He would show you what it looks like to have your sights set on heaven as you go about your daily life. Pray He would show you what victory over death looks like, and thank Him for the incredible gift of eternal life that has been given to us.
Author | Madelyn Livingston