Editor’s Note: Welcome to Sit & Listen Saturday’s from Devotionals Daily. Enjoy reading as well as listening to this week’s devotion from Randy Frazee. Note the audio devotion is shorter than the excerpt.
After We Die: What Will Our Resurrected Bodies Be Like?
Here is a question whose answer I know lots of people are interested in knowing. The answer is addressed explicitly in 1 Corinthians 15:35-55. Paul began this section of his writings with the $64,000 question:
But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’” — 1 Corinthians 15:35
Paul immediately answered:
What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as He has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. — 1 Corinthians 15:36-38
Paul compared the resurrection to planting. Our current bodies are the seeds for our new bodies. This seed determines the kind of body the sprouting plant will grow into, yet it won’t be the same as the seed planted. I think this means we each will have a body that looks like the one we have now, but it won’t be exactly the same. It will be better. That is what Paul wrote next:
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. — 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
With our current bodies we experience aches and pains, the effects of aging, susceptibility to disease, and the inevitability of death. Our new bodies will not contain or experience any of these defects caused by sin. We will be without sin. That means no more cancer, no more diabetes, no more wheelchairs, no more blind- ness, no more deafness, no more chronic pain, no fear of death… because we will never die again.
I love the comparison Paul made between our natural and spiritual bodies:
The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of Heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of Heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. — 1 Corinthians 15:47-49
Our natural bodies are born of Adam. Our spiritual bodies will be born of the second Adam, who is Jesus. Our resurrected bodies will bear the image of Jesus’ resurrected body. What do we know about Jesus’ resurrected body?
- Jesus looked the same in resurrection as He did before death. We know this because His disciples and followers who saw Him recognized Him. I assume we will look the same as we did in our earthly bodies, minus anything that might be unhealthy, internally or externally. That should mean we will be the appropriate weight for our body size and type. Can I get an amen?
- We assume Jesus’ new body came back at the same age as when He died. I don’t think this means if we die at ten we will perpetually stay ten and if we die at ninety we will forever look as though we are ninety. Actually, we just don’t know. Some serious thinkers about theology have suggested we will have bodies that represent our prime years, which are somewhere in our late twenties to early thirties. I can live with that.
- Jesus came back as a man. I think there will be gender in Heaven, and we will each maintain the gender we had in our natural bodies.
- Jesus had the ability to physically appear and disappear and go through locked doors (Luke 24:31; John 20:19). We are not totally sure this feature will carry over to us, but it is reasonable to think we will since we will bear His image. How cool is the thought of that?
(audio devotion ends here.)
We can also look at the bodies of Adam and Eve before the fall to get some clues as to what we might be able to expect. The most alarming observation for most people is that they were naked. Yikes! Yet, in the book of Revelation we are told of people wearing white robes. We can’t really know about this, but one thing we do know for sure is that we will not feel ashamed or vulnerable in the same way Adam and Eve did not feel ashamed before they partook of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That is a big improvement over our current condition on this earth.
We will also maintain our ethnic identities. We don’t really know what ethnic makeup Adam and Eve had in their bodies, but we did all come from them originally, so it’s fair to say we will likely maintain the genetic makeup we’ve been given in Life Now.
Read this beautiful scene from the book of Revelation about our life to come:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” — Revelation 7:9-10
We live in a time of great racial tension. It has always been this way; it shall always be this way until this old world comes to an end and Jesus returns. On the new earth we will not all look or sound the same. Diversity will still exist, but we will be completely unified. How can this be? In our diversity we will experience unity under the name of Jesus, who sits on the throne. It will be a beautiful thing.
Excerpted with permission from What Happens After You Die by Randy Frazee, copyright Randy Frazee.
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What are your thoughts on Heaven? If you’ve lost a loved one or family member, your mind may turn to Heaven more often and long to be together again someday when the Lord calls you home as well. Come share your comments on our blog. We would love to hear what you think of eternity to come! ~ Devotionals Daily