Q. I hear that we’ll have Resurrection Bodies in Heaven. What are they like and why do we need them?
A. Yes, the Bible tells us that we shall all be changed to have resurrection bodies in Eternity. Important references in this regard are Phil 3:21 and 1 Jn 3:1-3. However, the Resurrection Chapter of God’s Word is 1 Cor 15 and we shall be looking into it.
Not only is God’s Word here emphatic about the Resurrection, it also tells that the resurrection body will be celestial, heavenly – v40,48; incorruptible – v42; glorious – v43; powerful – v43; a spiritual body – v44; and immortal – v53. It will be like the glorious resurrection body of Jesus; able to eat natural food yet, because it is a spiritual body, able to pass through matter. Since it is powerful, it is governed neither by time nor distance; it can be here one moment and a thousand km away the next! As a spiritual body it is sustained and empowered by spirit and not, as in our physical bodies, by blood. (The life of the flesh is in the blood – Lev 17:11.)
There are a number of reasons why we need resurrection bodies. We cannot profess to know everything about the Resurrection and resurrection bodies, and only one day, perhaps soon, will we ‘know even as we are known.’ However, consider these points:
- Javier Sotomayor of Cuba is the current men’s record holder with a jump of 2.45 metres set in 1993, the longest standing record in the history of the Men’s High Jump. If that’s the best Earth can produce, however shall Man take that great leap into God’s Heaven? Of course we are conflicting physical and spiritual issues. In truth, only by God’s transforming grace and mercy can anyone get to Heaven.
- Our bodies were created for life on Earth. We need a total transformation to fit us for the Salvation and Heaven’s glories God plans for the believer. It would be physically unbearable for us to see God and live – Ex 33:20. But a supernatural, resurrection body will enable us to bear the incredible glory of God and His Heaven.
- In His Resurrection Jesus conquered Death. But had He risen alone, His triumph over Death would not have been total. Thus, ‘in Christ shall all be made alive,’ 1 Cor 15:22. This means that saved and unsaved, saint and sinner, every person ever born, will be raised from the dead so that Jesus’ conquest may be total and absolute.
- Note the next verse, however; ‘But every man in his own order.’ It then continues to describe the Resurrection process: First Christ, Second, when He comes, those who belong to Him; Finally, the end! Thus we see that, after Jesus, there are two separate Resurrections. First, the Resurrection of those who have died in Christ together with all believers still alive upon the Earth. See 1 Thess 4:13-18. These will all receive glorious resurrection bodies to display forever the love and grace of God and enjoy His glorious Presence.
- Finally comes another Resurrection – the coming to Judgment of all the ungodly and Christ-rejecters. These, too, will receive resurrection bodies for the purpose of bearing ‘shame and everlasting contempt’ – Dan 12:2-3 – and eternal testimony to God’s righteous judgment. This is the prelude to what the Revelation calls ‘the Second Death’ – Rev 2:11, 20:6, 14, 21:8 – from which there is no escape because Death itself will be destroyed – 1 Cor 15:24-25.
- Resurrection bodies are vital in the purpose of God. They will show forth forever the glory of God’s salvation in the believers. Eph 2:7-10 tells that in the ages to come He will display the ‘exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us’ who are ‘His workmanship’, His masterpiece, His poetry. Sadly for the lost, their resurrection bodies will reflect the righteous wrath of Almighty God for rejecting the Salvation He offered them in Jesus Christ.
- Which resurrection body will you receive for all eternity?