By: Kevin Leland
Book of Job, Chapter 19: 25-27
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has rotted off my bones, still, in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes –I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Here is a very pointed comment, made by an Old Testament Saint, and personal hero of mine. He prophesies about how we live again after death and decay. Not in the ethereal way that the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses perceive it, but with our own, actual flesh put back on our bones. This was spoken about by Job, who some say lived around the time of Noah. He may have come later than that, but anyway, it is a very early telling of the resurrection, that centuries later, at the time of Jesus’ Earthly ministry, still wasn’t quite fully understood. Pharisees thought it was much like Jesus taught, and later proved: A bodily resurrection. Sadducees saw it as a continued existence in an interactive, dream-like state…a spirit and soul in the Bosom of Abraham. Some Jews thought: Worm food. The End! I.e.; oblivion.
Reincarnation is a popular life-after-death theory, even now, in the 21st Century. Why? Because many people have trouble with basic logic. If you think about it logically, then Job explained best how it is impossible. In his short statement, in just one little part, he’s got: my, I, I, myself, my own, –I, and not another. When you refer to yourself, what do you mean by ‘me?’ ‘my self?’ ‘I?’ You are referring to your body, soul and spirit. This ‘all of you’ contains your own flesh and DNA, with your experiences, emotions, memories of and connections to others, let’s call this part of you; your ‘soul.’ Your ‘spirit’ I think is what connects it all together and connects this ‘you’ to your Creator.
So, the impossibility of reincarnation, the contradiction in terms, the logical paradox, right there within the statement: ‘I will be reincarnated’ is that if I don’t take my body, spirit and soul with me, into this next life, I can’t say ‘I am living again.’ It’s not ‘my’ life. I can’t be identified as ‘me.’ If I am reincarnated as a human being, when in my former life I was a dog, how is it the same ‘me’ living again? Even if after I got hit by a car, I am reborn as a human -real boy, to the same family that kept me as a pet Shih Tzu named Pinocchio, what good is it if I don’t remember them, and the experiences I had and love I shared with them as their former, furry companion?
A resurrection on the other hand, like Job preaches, and Jesus Christ exemplified, shows us that the whole of us; body, soul and spirit, with all our memories (except maybe the bad ones) our personalities, and that part of us that is connected to our Creator, all comes to be again –fully intact. More than intact really, because we will be ‘glorified.’ That means, our glorified bodies can’t get sick or die, our glorified personalities continue on without sinful urges, behaviors or actions, and maybe when God wipes away the tears of regret and sadness from our eyes, due to our painful memories, He wipes away those memories along with the tears. Our spirits will be Glorified in such a way it will be more than just a connection to God, our glorified spirits will enable the whole of the resurrected us to stand in front of Him…touch Him even –without being vaporized to smithereens.
Resurrection can beat up reincarnation any day of the week. Even in Buddhist teachings, literal reincarnation is a misconception. The example of a human being, reincarnated as an animal in the next life, was meant figuratively. It was an admonishment: If as a human being, you behave like an animal, you will become an animal. If you stop thinking and behaving like an animal, you can be ‘reborn’ as a person –whom someone like Jesus wouldn’t mind hanging out with for eternity, so on the Last Day, he will resurrect you, bodily, to eternal life.
- The reincarnations of Jesus (rawlifewizard.wordpress.com)
- Random Thoughts: Reincarnation and the Death Penalty (amazeoftwistylittlepassages.wordpress.com)
- Reincarnation (nion-alchemy.com)
- Reincarnation (thisspeaksmymind.wordpress.com)
- Death, Rebirth, and Meditation (zen-haven.com)
- Reincarnation in a nutshell (rajarasablog.wordpress.com)
- Thursday (August 1): “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
- Reincarnation (samkedirah.wordpress.com)
- One Soul, Many Bodies: The Case for Reincarnation (usahitman.com)
- Post 8: If Buddhism Is A Philosophy, It Is Often Bad Philosophy (bigthink.com)