The Bible says we will get a new body. But this body will not be new in the sense that it is created out of nothing. Instead, it will be a transformation of our present body. This is similar to the physical body of the Lord that was crucified, which afterwards was raised from the dead in a radically transformed state:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.Philippians 3:20-21
True, we love the Lord for all He is and has done for us. We may even from time to time love the thought of heaven–as ambiguous as we mistakenly believe heaven to be. But often lost in our lofty thoughts is the promise of a new body. Let’s take a brief look at this new body.
What Does The Bible Say About Our New Resurrected Bodies?
In 1 Corinthians 15:35-54, the Holy Spirit said the new body will be immortal, incorruptible, glorious, and powerful. In the Scriptures above in Philippians, He rolls all that into one word: transformation. He defines this transformation as our “lowly body” being conformed to the “glorious body” of the resurrected Lord.
Some Bible translators translate “lowly body” (NKJV) as “body of humiliation” (BLB) or “humble body” (CSB) or “lowly condition” (NASB). You get the point. Our present bodies are in a humbled, humiliated mess. I like the way the King James Version describes our body.
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body…”
Bodies that come into existence and immediately begin to decay. Bodies with limitations that were never supposed to be. Bodies that suffer pain. Bodies that get sick. Bodies that break. Bodies that die.
Compared to the bodies of pre-sin Adam and Eve…
Compared to our new transformed bodies…
Compared to the Lord’s glorious body…
What Kind Of New Resurrected Body Does Jesus Have?
Since the Bible says Jesus “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body,” [have qualities of His resurrected body] it would be helpful to know what some of these qualities are.
The Lord’s Resurrected Body is Physical
Sometimes the answer to the mysterious is right before our eyes. Let me ask you a question. Put some thought into your answer because it’s a really tricky question.
What kind of body was crucified and put in a tomb? Okay, so it’s not tricky at all. Jesus was physically crucified and physically placed in a tomb.
Now this second question is logically as simple as the first. Yet for some reason people stumble at the obvious answer. Let’s give it a shot. With what kind of body did Jesus exit the tomb?
The obvious answer is physical, right? If the physical body is missing from the tomb, and Jesus is later seen by His disciples, it’s obvious that the same body that was crucified and buried is the body that is interacting with the disciples.
Nonetheless, Jesus had to convince even His disciples of this. Look at this meeting between Him and His disciples after the Resurrection:
Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.
And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.
When he had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.Luke 24:36-40
And if there were still any doubts in the disciples’ mind, Jesus “showed them His hands and His feet.” Why His hands and feet? It was because of the crucifixion. They saw the Romans hammer nails into His hands and feet. Now they could examine both and see evidence that this was the very body that was crucified.
The Lord’s Resurrected Body Can Travel Without Limitations
After the resurrection, we see the Lord’s body defy normal limitations of travel. The disciples were in a locked room and scared to death that they were next on the hit list:
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”John 20:19
That time He popped out of nowhere and into a locked room.
Another time we see Him ascending into heaven. Jesus was speaking to His disciples when it happened:
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”Acts 1:9-11
Ascending from earth to heaven is more than going from one physical location to another. It is going from one dimension to another.
The Lord’s Resurrected Body Can Eat and Drink
On more than one occasion we see the resurrected Christ eating. Here’s one of them:
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.Luke 24:40-43
We don’t see Him drink anything after the resurrection. However, He promised that “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18).
The Lord’s Resurrected Body is Spiritual
A spiritual body is not the same as a spirit body. Spiritual is an adjective. It describes the quality of the new body. Spirit is a noun. It describes the essence of the new body.
It is more appropriate to think of the new resurrected body in terms of spiritual versus carnal rather than spiritual versus spirit. Spiritual and carnal are opposite qualities of the same class.
Whereas, spiritual and spirit can no more be compared than dependable and car. Who would say something is either dependable or it’s a car? I mean, huh?
My article, How Are The Dead Raised? explains this in more detail.
Jesus corrected His disciples of the error of thinking His spiritual body was a spirit when they saw Him after His resurrection: “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).
The Lord’s Resurrected Body is Eternal
How long will the Lord’s resurrected body live? Easy answer. Forever.
The Lord’s Resurrected Body is Glorious
For some reason, the world and even the church generally behave as though we last see Jesus in the Gospels. Fewer realize that we see Jesus also in the book of Acts. And, surprisingly, even fewer know He fills the pages of The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The apostle John was banished to the prison island of Patmos for his testimony of Jesus Christ. While there, the Lord appeared to Him. Here’s how He looked in His glorified state:
And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands; and in the middle of the lamp-stands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across his breast with a golden girdle.
And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in His right hand he held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man.Revelation 1:12-17
The Lord does not always look like this. He takes on many different appearances for His sovereign purposes. The point is that this is one of the appearances of the Lord’s resurrected body.
Enough to make the apostle John fall at the Lord’s feet as a dead man.
We Will Have The Same Kind Of Body Jesus Has
Certainly, there are things Jesus as God will do in the age to come that we will not be able to do even with our new bodies fashioned after His own. But don’t let this minimize the greatness of the powers and abilities of these resurrected bodies.
They are created in the same class of the resurrected, glorified body of our Lord. This is one of my great reasons for eagerly waiting for His glorious appearing.
Our New Body is Reserved in Heaven for Us
The Bible tells us clearly our new body is reserved in heaven for us:
For this we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.2 Corinthians 5:1-5
Now we see even more clearly why Paul considered extreme suffering but a light affliction. He had such a rich understanding of his new resurrection body that thoughts of its power and glory and immortality filled his mind. It was a future joy that helped him endure present hardships.
Tent of Present Body Vs. Building of Future Body
He used the metaphor of our present body being a tent and the future body being a building. The contrast between a tent and a building is deliberate. Tents are temporary and weak; buildings are permanent and strong. Peter also called his present body a tent (2 Peter 1:13-14).
Paul addresses the groaning we have (or should have) to put off our present tent for our future building. He anticipates the objection that looking too fondly to replace bodies may appear unhelpful or even suicidal. His answer is that people who groan for their new body are neither.
They simply believe what God says about the resurrected body, and eagerly desire to put off the old body of weakness for a new body of power, glory, and incorruption.
God Prepared Us for Eternal Bodies
In conclusion, our last verse says, “He who prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” Isn’t it good and exciting to know Almighty God places such a high priority on new resurrection bodies?
Then to top it off, He gives us not only His word that He will fully redeem our physical body, He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, or down payment, so to speak, until He comes.
You should regularly think about your new resurrection body. At least as much as you think about your present body!
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