A close friend of mine believed that she was visited by and protected by the ghost of her dead grandmother. It gave her great comfort to feel connected with this special relative. She believed that upon her death, her grandmother changed into an angel, and more specifically, her guardian angel. From my study on angels, I did not share my friend’s belief, but struggled with what to say.
My children have asked me what happens to a person’s body after they die and are buried. They’ve even asked me what we will look like after we die and go to heaven. “Will we have wings?” “Will I be able to fly?” I’ve struggled with the response to their questions in the past, but more recently I’ve found the answer in the Bible.
As a going-away present, another friend gave me a new Bible. This was a soft-cover book by Eugene Peterson titled, “The Message – The New Testament in Contemporary Language”. After reading other versions of the Bible, I was pleased to find that this one was in everyday language that I could understand. In a letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes about the topic of Resurrection. Upon reading his letter, I finally was able to respond to their questions. He writes:
“We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is not visual likeness between seed and plant. You could never guess what a tomato would look like by looking at a tomato seed. What we plant in the soil and what grows out of it don’t look anything alike. The dead body that we bury in the ground and the resurrection body that comes from it will be dramatically different.
“You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning. Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies – humans, animals, birds, fish – each unprecedented in its form. You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory by looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies – sun, moon, stars – all these varieties of beauty and brightness. And we’re only looking at pre-resurrection ‘seeds’ – who can imagine what the resurrection ‘plants’ will be like!” (1 Corinthians 15:36-41 NIV)
How exciting. I am in awe when I think about how Christ died so that I could inherit an eternal life.