Recently I helped my family finish tearing down an old barn on their property. It was probably 75 years old! As we cleaned up the rotting wood and rubble I found lots of interesting things lost over the years (not to mention the bees and snake that found us). There were unique hand tools, rusted silverware, bicycle parts, glass condiment jars (mayo hasn’t always been squeezable), a bank statement from the late 70’s, and even a Time Magazine from 1946 in very good condition. Each of those items had a story to tell of long ago. Each item was at once usable and important. Some items still have life to give. I kept waiting to find a coffee can full of money but no such luck. My grandfather (born in 1901) buried coffee cans of money in his backyard so working on the barn made me feel like a treasure hunter in some ways. All of these items had been long forgotten as they slipped through the cracks of the wood floor of the rickety old barn. That barn is gone now but as I helped clean up the remains I couldn’t help but relate that to life.
2 Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is torn down, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” Did you see that? The Bible relates the life we have in this temporary body to a tent and the eternal life in heaven to a house. A house sure is more substantial than a tent. I remember tent camping as a kid. It took forever to put up the rickety tent. It was hot inside the tent, musty, wet when it rained, dirt always on the floor, filled with bugs (or thought of bugs), and I personally think it was old enough to be stitched by the Apostle Paul himself (Acts 18:1-3)! Some of the zippers didn’t zip anymore and there were more patches on it than a boy scouts vest. Why did we ever think leaving the comforts of home and “vacationing” in a tent was ever a good idea? I remember the day we got a camper and retired that old worn out tent! Still, it did not compare to living in a house. But think about the eternal house of heaven. Jesus said he was going away to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house (John 14:1-6). Think about how incredible that home will be! There will be maintenance required and new just won’t be able to describe the splendor of its perfection. Oh, and we get new bodies in heaven (1 Corinthians 15). I John 3:2 says we will have bodies like Jesus’ resurrected body. Hallelujah! No more calories, hunger, wrinkles, balding, surgeries, prescriptions, tears, pain, or fear.
So, for the Christian, one day this perishable old barn of a body will put on imperishable and become like Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:53) as we will exchange even the best of earthly homes for the magnificence and grandeur of a heavenly home. One day I’ll set aside this old tent as Peter reminds me, “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me” (2 Peter 1:13-14). As a citizen of heaven, I eagerly await a Savior from there (Jesus Christ) who will transform my lowly body into a glorious one like His own (Philippians 3:20-21).