body he might have attained a higher being, the ?spiritual,? ?heavenly? body, without the intervention of death. Sin, however, has turned the normal condition of things into the rare exception (cf. <461542>1 Corinthians 15:42-50). Since Christ endured death as the penalty of sin, death to the Christian becomes the gateway through which he enters into full communion with his fiord (see references below).
Through physical death all Christians will pass, except those few who like Enoch and Elijah were translated and those many who shall be alive at Christ?s second- coming. Enoch and Elijah were possible types of those surviving saints. <461551>1 Corinthians 15:51 ? ?We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,? see Edward Irving, Works, 5:135. The apocryphal Assumption of Moses, verse 9, tells us that Joshua, being carried in vision to the spot at the moment of Moses? decease, beheld a double Moses, one dropped into the grave as belonging to the earth and the other mingling with the angels. The belief in Moses? immortality was not conditioned upon any resuscitation of the earthly corpse; see Martineau, Seat of Authority, 364. When Paul was caught up to the third heaven, it may have been a temporary translation of the disembodied spirit. Set free for a brief space from the prison house which confined it, it may have passed within the veil and have seen and heard what mortal tongue could not describe; see Luckock, Intermediate State, 4. So Lazarus probably could not tell what he saw: ?He told it not; or something sealed the lips of that Evangelist?; see Tennyson, In Memoriam, xxxi.
Nicoll, Life of Christ: ?We have every one of us to face the host enemy, death. Ever since the world began, all who have entered it sooner or later, have had this struggle, and the battle has always ended in one way. Two indeed escaped, but they did not escape by meeting and mastering their foe; they escaped by being taken away from the battle.? Christ turned this physical death into a blessing for the Christian. A pardoned prisoner may be still kept in prison, as the best possible benefit to an exhausted body and so the external fact of physical death may remain, although it has ceased to be penalty. Macaulay: ?The aged prisoner?s chains are needed to support him; the darkness that has weakened his sight is necessary to preserve it.? So spiritual death is not wholly removed from the Christian. A part of it, namely, depravity still remains yet it has ceased to be punishment ? it is only chastisement. When the finger unties the ligature that bound it, the body, which previously had only chastised begins to cure the trouble. There is still pain, but the pain is remedial and no longer punitive. In the midst of the whipping, when the boy repents, his punishment is changed to chastisement.
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