It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body.
–1 Corinthians 15:42
What will our bodies be like in Heaven? Looking at Jesus, we can gather several important facts about our new bodies in Heaven.
First of all, our bodies will be physical. Just as Jesus had a physical body, so will we. Our new bodies will be vastly different than our earthly bodies. In 1 Corinthians 15:39-40, Paul said, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.” God designs our bodies just as He does animals, fish, and the stars and moon: all to serve their unique purpose. Paul continued, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 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” (15:42-44). The word “body” refers to a physical body. Repeating this word over and over was Paul’s way of saying: On earth, we have a natural body. In the New Heaven and Earth, we will be spiritual, but we will still have a body.
Second, our bodies will be perfect. No more cancer. No more heart attacks. No more strokes. No more high blood pressure. Revelation 21:4 says, “The first things have passed away.” Revelation 22:3 says, “There will no longer be any curse.” Joni Eareckson Tada is a great woman of God who through a diving accident became a quadriplegic. Joni wrote this about the promise of a new body: “Can you imagine the hope this gives to someone who has a spinal cord injury, like I do? Or someone who has cerebral palsy, a brain injury, or multiple sclerosis? Imagine the hope this gives someone who has bipolar disorder. No other religion, no other philosophy, promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope.” Isn’t that great? That is the promise we have: in Heaven, our bodies will be perfect.
Third, our bodies will be personal. When you are raised from the dead, you do not become somebody else. You are still you. In 1 John 3:2, John said, “We will be like Him.” That does not mean we all become mini-me’s of Jesus without any distinction. It means we will inherit Heavenly DNA like Jesus, but we will retain our own identities. Think of it this way: when we upgrade computer software, we do not throw away the whole program; we upgrade the program to a better state. And in the same way, when we are raised from the dead, it is a renovation, but we still are us at the core. How do I know that? In Luke 24:39, when Jesus appeared to His disciples in His resurrection body, He said, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself.” In your resurrection body, you will be you. You will not be someone else.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Will We Know One Another In Heaven?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Joni Eareckson Tada, “Heaven: Your Real Home” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018), 76.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)