As some of you may know, one of my talks at this weekend's biblical conference on St. Paul was entitled: "St. Paul and the Resurrection of the Body."
In it I spent a great deal of time focusing on the Jewish tradition which identified the resurrected body with the "garments of glory" that Adam and Eve had lost in the fall but would be restored to the righteous in in the messianic age (e.g., 1 Enoch 62). In it, I explored this Jewish background as illuminating for Paul's words:
Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:2-4)
I ended the talk with a joke about hoping to see everyone there in the Resurrection "fully clothed," not knowing that I would stumble across this Rabbinic text just two days later:
Queen Cleopatra asked Rabbi Meier: "I know that the dead will revive, for it is written, 'And they shall blossom forth out of the city like the grass of the earth' (Psalm 72:16). But when they rise, shall they arise nude or in their garments?' --He replied, 'You may deduce by an a fortiori argument [the answer] from a wheat grain: if a grain of wheat, which is buried naked, sprouts forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous, who are buried in their rainment?" (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 90b)
Someone may want to call Michelangelo and Mel Gibson and let them both know! (This makes me feel a little better about the ending of the film the Passion of the Christ, with which I always rather uncomfortable. I realize now it was just my Jewish sensibilities.)