Bible Study Series: Resurrection, Rapture & the Redeemer
What will the resurrection body be like?
by I Gordon
- The wonder and small issue with your current body
- What believers can look forward to in the resurrection body
- What was Jesus' resurrection body like?
- What did Paul teach about the resurrection body?
- How does scripture compare and contrast the first and second bodies of a believer?
- What application does scripture use after speaking of the resurrection?
So, in other words, as amazing as this body is, it wasn't designed, at least not after the fall, to last forever. It ages. It starts to creak. It groans. It grows weaker. And when that weakness reaches utter exhaustion, It dies. Now if that is starting to sound a little gloomy, that is where the Gospel comes in! God, who cannot lie, has promised that the salvation He offers includes getting a new body2. A vastly improved superior body. Actually even that is not doing it justice. It is a perfect body without any design flaws. It is one in which you won't have to worry about those strange spots, those new lines, those new aches, or that second chin, ever again. And that is what this study is about. To learn about this we need to examine the One who is, so far, the only One to have received this new body. You know who I am talking about... the One who is called the firstborn from the dead - Jesus!
- Firstly it was a physical body that could be touched and felt, having flesh and bones (if needed)
Luk 24:39 "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
Jesus made sure the disciples, and all that read the account, knew that He had a physical body post-resurrection.
- A body that could eat and enjoy food though not needing food to keep it alive
Luk 24:41-43 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them.
Again, Jesus did this to prove that He was not a mere spirit. He could still eat and enjoy food. Food is pleasurable and even in the age to come we will still eat and drink (Matt 26:29, Luke 22:29-30, Rev 19:9, Isa 25:6, Rev 22:2). But it will not require food maintain health or energy. The life of God will do that!
- A body that could show the scars of what it went through
Joh 20:27 Then He *said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."
Now I believe this will be unique to Jesus. These scars of Jesus were proof of His death and resurrection. And even into the future, where all the tribes look on the One they have pierced (Zech 12:10, Rev 1: 5:6) these scars will a sign of who He is and what He did for mankind. Are we going to have scars from this life? No. Through a surfing accident I split my eye open, had 60 stiches in the left eyeball itself, and lost all sight in that eye. Thankfully I won't be carrying that injury and scar on into eternity! My new eyes will see far better than the one often tired one I have now!
- A body not restricted by physical limitations
Joh 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Joh 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
It is interesting that John twice makes mention of the fact that Jesus appeared in the room with the disciples even though the doors were locked. He wants us to know that physical walls and doors didn't stop Jesus from coming and going in this new body.
- A body that could appear and disappear at will and not be governed by the laws of physics
Luk 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Act 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Similar to the previous point where He walked through a wall or closed door, Jesus was able to appear and then disappear in this new body. He could vanish if needed. He could defy gravity and ascend into Heaven. It seems that travel in the new body is not restricted by time and space! So, as a side note, after the resurrection I sure would love to explore the Universe, being unrestricted on where I can go and how long it takes to get there!
- Finally it is a body that could be shown in it's pure spiritual state, displaying the glory of God (Rev 1:12-16)
Rev 1:13-16 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. (14) His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; (15) His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; (16) He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Mat 24:30 At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.
This new body will also be able to display the glory of God. John was taken aback when He saw Jesus in this way. He fall down! When Jesus returns to the earth it will be in this glory. And believers will also shine with God's glory as we shall see.
Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.
|Earthly Body||Resurrection Body|
Perishable - (phthorá) 'Spoiling, corruption, destruction, ruin, decay, generally a fraying or wasting away.' Our bodies today follow the 2nd law of thermodynamics - that entropy occurs and matter breaks down. Our bodies are perishable and the process of death begins even while we are alive! I've spoken about a friend who recently died of cancer. She went from 50Kg -> 40Kg ->30kg -> 20kg as the cancer took over her body and she literally wasted away. Thankfully, death doesn't get the final say and where she is now there is fullness of joy!
Imperishable - (aphtharsía) 'incorruptible. Imperishable, incapacity for corruption.
Dishonor - (atimia) 'infamy, that is, (subjectively) indignity, disgrace, dishonor, reproach, shame, vile.'
Glory -(doxa) 'dignity, glory, honor, praise, worship.' Instead of disgrace and shame, the new body will display the very glory of God. Col 3:4 'When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.' It will be one that is created to reflect and bring honor to who He is! It shall never bring disgrace or reproach to God or its owner again!
Weakness - (astheneia) - 'feebleness (of body or mind); by implication moral frailty, infirmity, sickness, weakness.' Jesus said it well - 'The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.' We give into temptations at times. We can be weak physically, morally, spiritually. We can choose fear over faith and give up and in, through lack of physical and moral strength. Ultimately death occurs when the person has been brought to utter weakness, unable to even breathe.
Power - (dunamis) 'force; specifically miraculous power - ability, abundance, might' Wow! No more fear, lack of will power, lack of capability or spiritual might. We shall know and exercise the power of God. It will have energy, drive and capability. Think of the power of angels and then multiply it over and over! That is the power of the resurrection body!
Natural - (psuchikos) - 'soul, the natural and/or fallen instinct of man'. This current body is given to natural pleasures. desires, lusts and appetites common to fallen humanity. We spend far more time looking after our bodies than we do our soul and spirits. In this life we are often dominated by our body.
Spiritual - (pneumatikos) - 'dominated and controlled by the Spirit'. In contrast the resurrection body is dominated by the Spirit. It is still a physical body but one that does the will of God continually. It is controlled by the Spirit and not natural impulses. No more will it be said that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Both will finally be willing and able!
- Firstly, be steadfast - don't move from this hope you have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don't be swayed to the left or right. Don't be lured by false teachers and every wind of doctrine. Be immovable on all the core tenants of the faith. Have that firm and secure anchor for your soul, the hope of salvation, that holds true through any storm (Heb 6:18-19).
The truth of resurrection changes everything. It provides hope and steadfastness, and enables us to go on in the face of overwhelming and difficult circumstances.
William MacDonald, Believers Bible Commentary
- Secondly, always abound in the work of the Lord. Ask the Lord what He would have you to do. And then do it! Paul is clear that our toil is not in vain because this work is eternal in nature! You may not see the results in this life... but you will in the next!
So, what have we seen... is the resurrection body physical or spiritual? The answer of course is Yes! It is both. It is one created for both the physical and spiritual realms. It can eat and drink and will be perfect for earth in Jesus' Messianic Kingdom where believers will rule and reign with Him. It will also be perfect for Heaven, our home, dwelling in the New Jerusalem, amongst angels and heavenly creatures, displaying God's glory! There will be no restrictions in either realm. There will be no lack of power, capability or desire to do God's will. You will not be tired. You will not be sore. You will not wear out. It will be amazing! "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2:9) Though your first body was fearfully and wonderfully created by God, we haven't seen anything yet! God will truly out-do His own first design in what is to come : )
Don't forget the salvation, in the Bible, is past present and future. The past is your spirit at the time of being born again. The present is an ongoing process involving your sould (mind, will and emotions) as it comes into alignment with your spirit. The future aspect involves your body which will be transformed to be like Jesus' resurrection body at His coming (Phil 3:21). It is a packaged deal. The body is as much a part of our salvation as the spirit... but each in their own time!
While on the topic of graves, there is a grave stone that has the following:
Here lies my wife: so let her lie! Now she’s at rest, and so am I!
There might be an unintended double meaning on another grave, where a wife had written on her husband’s tomb:
Rest in peace, Till we meet again!
To that we could add the classic:
Here lies the body of Solomon Peas, under the daisies and under the trees
But Peas is not here - only the pod, Peas shelled out and went home to God.
Of course, you make sure you know where you are going because the alternative is not good!
Here lies the body of Solomon Peas, under the daisies and under the trees
But Peas is not here - only the shell, Peas expired and went to....