Our Resurrected Bodies

What are resurrected bodies?

In the future believers who have died will be resurrected in their new bodies(Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2-3; 1 Cor. 15:12-58; 1 The. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6). We will have resurrected bodies for the New Heaven and New Earth. This is because flesh and blood, our current bodies, cannot enter into the eternal Heaven(1 Cor. 15:50).

The resurrection is the central part of the Christian faith. After all, Christ rose from the dead after being crucified. There will be a resurrection, if not then Christ wasn't resurrected and our faith would be meaningless(1 Cor. 15:13-14). Resurrection from the dead came from Jesus, unlike death being introduced by Adam(1 Cor. 15:21) after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. All of creation eagerly awaits glory as it was subject to God's curse but will experience glory(Rom. 8:19-21).

This is not figurative or symbolic but will be a physical resurrection. Christ is the first with a resurrected body with physical characteristics(1 Cor. 15:23). Jesus had a real body that people touched(Luke 24:38-40) and had wounds from the crucifixion(John 20:24-27). Jesus also breathed on the disciples(John 20:22) and ate fish(Luke 24:41-42; Acts 1:4). None of these apply to a spirit or a ghost.

How this will be done?

The Bible doesn’t go into detail about how this will be done but gives us some information. The Apostle Paul says a seed must die before a plant grows(1 Cor. 15:36). What is put in the ground isn't what comes out(1 Cor. 15:37). Our earthly bodies will be sown and transformed(1 Cor. 15:42-43), and Christ will take our weak bodies and turn them into glorious ones(Phil. 3:21). This transformation will occur in the blink of an eye(1 Cor. 15:51-52).

What about those who are cremated? Even they will be resurrected. God doesn't need to keep track of every molecule of our body as our bodies lose cells every year. God may only require our DNA to create our new bodies.

What they will be like

The bodies we live in now are described as tents on Earth(2 Cor. 5:1). Tents, especially in biblical times, are fragile and not able to hold up well against storms. A resurrected body is described as a building. Our bodies right now are subject to aging, disease and injury. In our resurrected bodies we won’t have any more aging or death or health problems (1 Cor. 15:42-44), and we will have better minds and memory. Our resurrected bodies will be free from sin and suffering(Rom. 8:21-23).

What will they look like? Jesus did not have a halo or did not shine in his resurrected body. In fact, people recognized Jesus. We know not all flesh is the same(1 Cor. 15:39), so we will still look like ourselves and be recognizable. The difference is our resurrected bodies will have splendor(1 Cor. 15:40).

Perhaps most astonishingly, we will see God's face in our resurrected bodies(Job 19:26-27; Rev. 22:3-4). If we saw God's face now we would die. This is what God said when Moses asked to see God on Mount Sinai(Exo. 33:18-23).

We may also have special abilities. Jesus suddenly appeared(Luke 24:36; John 20:19,26) to people and was able to enter a locked room(John 20:19). He could also disappear at will from the disciples on the road(Luke 24:31). After spending time with the disciples in a resurrected body, Jesus ascended into Heaven(Acts 1:9). In addition, we could have increased mental capabilities. God gave Daniel and his friends the increased ability to learn(Dan. 1:17). We’ll likely have enhanced senses, including seeing beyond the visible light spectrum and hearing as well as dogs, and perhaps new ones we can't imagine.

Trying to fully understand our resurrected bodies is like describing to a seed the plant it will become or describing to a caterpillar the butterfly it will become. Right now we aren’t ready to fully grasp the resurrection and our new bodies. When the time comes, the words here will seem inadequate to describe it.

Last updated 1/27/2012