Although the theme of the Heidelberg Catechism is comfort, the word ‘comfort’ is only used 7 times in 129 questions and answers. While you don’t need the word itself to express the theme of the catechism, it is usedtwice in LD 22.
My comfort is that I belong, soul and body, in death and life, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
1. My soul will be immediately taken up to Christ.
2. My flesh will be raise up powerfully by Christ.
3. My future will be lived joyfully in Christ.
1.What happens between death and resurrection? Gen 2:7 speaks about man as a living being or living soul. Body and soul are woven together to make a living being. Ps 139 speaks about being woven together in his mother’s womb. Sin entered the world, disrupting and devastating and twisting all creation. Sin tore man apart, body from soul. Death is terrible, but even there the gospel shines through. There is no more sin then. How do we know the soul is immediately taken up to Christ its head? See the story of Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, remember what Jesus said to the criminal on the cross, and recall what Paul said to the Philippians in 1:23.
My soul will be taken up to Christ, my Head. The head of a body is essential. The husband is the head of the wife; as Christians, Christ is our head. This is comfort and encouragement.
2.My body will be raised by the power of Christ. A funeral is not the end of everything. Job 19 says that I know my Redeemer lives and in my flesh I will see him with my own eyes. 2 Cor. 5:20. Christ is the first fruits and we are the harvest that comes after. One problem with 19th century hymnody is that it always misses the resurrection. These hymns are platonic, only about the soul. But Scripture also speaks about the resurrection of the body.
3.What happens after the resurrection? All things will be renewed. 1 Cor. 2:9 says that no eye has seen what God has prepared for those who love him. Is 64 is about God’s grace in the midst of judgement. The day of judgement will be a wonderful day for believers. God will not keep silent and will not punish us beyond measure. We can begin to enjoy this eternal joy even now, in this life already. We must live in the future. In our best moments our heart and flesh cry out to God said Rev Vos. We live as a sojourner or pilgrim, in the future, not the present.
Our heart and flesh may fail, but the gospel of Jesus never fails. The Word of God will prevail forever. (The amen-song was based on Ps 73:25,26.)
Sermon by Pastor George, Aug 12, 2012. Notes, errors, and omissions by NPS.