An established theologian from the University of Pretoria, South Africa declared some time ago that we should keep Jesus' and our future resurrection completely apart. This he argued should be so because the Apostolicum states that Jesus rose "on the third day", whereas we will rise in the "body". This interpretation has amused me ever since.
Dr Joel R. White (left below) from the Freie Theologische Hochschule Giessen in Germany, delivered a significant paper at the Resurrection of the Dead Conference in Louvain-le-Neuve, Belgium (7-9 April, 2010), that challenges this interpretation (though not aimed at the South African theologian).
Among other things White states: "The crucial similarity between 1 Cor 15 and Rom 8 is, of course, that both are concerned with resurrection. Specifically, both passages elucidate the connection between the past resurrection of Christ and the future resurrection of believers".
White goes into some detail explaining Rom 8:11 which states: "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you".
White went on to focus on the "firstfruits of the Spirit" (Rom 8:23), and after careful analysis and exegesis came up with a hermeneutical interpretation of what Paul is trying to convey here. White states: "Rom 8,23 should... be understood to mean: 'And not only does creation groan in eager expectation of the resurrection, but we do, too, because we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, that is, we have the risen Christ, whose resurrection was brought about by the Spirit. Because of that we, too, groan inwardly, as we eagerly await our revelation as children of God that will take place when our mortal bodies are resurrected."
After Joel delivered his paper, we had coffee together, and later the same day Belgium hamburgers together with Matthew Malcolm from Australia. We had such a great time!