The Bible teaches that one day those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ will be resurrected and given new, glorified bodies. This is an amazing promise, but it also raises many questions. What will our resurrection bodies be like? How will they be different from our current earthly bodies? By looking at Scripture, we can gain some insight into what awaits us.
Our current bodies are perishable, our resurrection bodies will be imperishable
Our current bodies are subject to decay and death. As 1 Corinthians 15:42 says, “The body that is sown is perishable.” Our bodies wear out, get sick, grow old, and eventually die. But in the resurrection, we will be clothed with imperishable bodies: “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:42). Our new resurrection bodies will not be subject to sickness, pain, or death. They will last forever.
Our current bodies are weak, our resurrection bodies will be powerful
Due to age, sickness, injury, and other factors, our current earthly bodies become weak over time. We lack the strength and vitality of youth. But in the resurrection, we will be given powerful, vigorous bodies. As 1 Corinthians 15:43 tells us, “it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.” Imagine having the strength of a world-class athlete or being able to scale mountains effortlessly. Our resurrection bodies will be infused with divine energy and strength.
Our current bodies are natural, our resurrection bodies will be spiritual
Right now we have natural earthly bodies, but someday we will be given spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:44). This doesn’t mean we will be ghosts or phantoms, but rather our new bodies will be perfectly suited for existence in the spiritual realm. They will not be bound by the limitations and needs of our current physical bodies. We will be like the angels (Matthew 22:30).
Our current bodies face dishonor, our resurrection bodies will be glorious
Our earthly bodies are subject to shame, dishonor, and humbling experiences. But our resurrection bodies will be transformed – we will bear the image of our glorious Savior. As 1 Corinthians 15:43 puts it, “it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.” These new bodies will be perfectly beautiful, radiant, and honorable.
Our current bodies are earthly, our resurrection bodies will be heavenly
We were created from the dust and designed for life on earth (Genesis 2:7). But in the resurrection, we will be perfectly suited for eternal life in heaven. As 1 Corinthians 15:48-49 explains, “As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” Christ will transform our bodies to be like His own glorious, resurrected body (Philippians 3:21).
Our current bodies face corruption, our resurrection bodies will be incorruptible
Our current bodies are subject to the curse of Genesis 3. But Revelation 21:4 declares that in our resurrected state, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Our new bodies will be free from the corruption and effects of sin forever.
Key contrasts between our earthly and resurrection bodies
- Perishable vs. imperishable
- Weak vs. powerful
- Natural vs. spiritual
- Dishonor vs. glory
- Earthly vs. heavenly
- Corruption vs. incorruption
While we do not have exhaustive information about our future resurrection bodies, these key contrasts give us an amazing preview. Our frail, temporal earthly bodies will be transformed into timeless spiritual bodies no longer hindered by sin and its effects. As believers, we have an incredible hope that goes far beyond this life. These truths spur us on to live faithfully and look forward to the resurrection.
More details about our resurrection bodies
By examining other Bible passages, we can gain additional insights into the nature of our future resurrection bodies:
- They will be like Christ’s resurrected body (1 John 3:2)
- They will be recognizable (Luke 24:31)
- They will be changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52)
- They will be imperishable, immortal, and incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:53-54)
- They will have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39)
- They will be glorious, powerful, and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:43-44)
- They will be like Christ’s glorious body (Philippians 3:21)
- They will be without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:27)
- They will not age, get sick, or die (Revelation 21:4)
Although many details are still unclear, these characteristics help paint a picture of just how amazing our resurrection bodies will be. No longer will we be bound by the limitations and struggles of our earthly bodies. We will be perfectly equipped to glorify God and enjoy intimate fellowship with Him forever.
The hope of resurrection bodies gives us confidence
Knowing that imperishable, glorious, spiritual bodies await us gives us hope and confidence to persevere through the trials of this life. As Paul says in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” No matter what we face today, an eternity of joy and life in resurrected bodies lies ahead for those who trust in Christ.
This future hope also motivates us to honor God with how we use our earthly bodies today. Paul urges us, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). Although our current bodies are imperfect and temporary, they are still sacred and designed to glorify God.
Questions related to our resurrection bodies
As we study what Scripture teaches about our resurrection bodies, many questions naturally arise. Here are some key questions with concise biblical answers:
Will we have gender in our resurrection bodies?
Yes, gender distinctions remain, but without any inequality or ungodly aspects (Galatians 3:28).
Will we eat and drink in our resurrection bodies?
It appears we can, since Christ ate after His resurrection (Luke 24:42-43). But it may not be necessary.
Will we be limited by time and space?
No, our new bodies will be perfectly suited for existence in eternity (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).
Will we have jobs or responsibilities?
We will serve and reign with Christ, but details are uncertain (Revelation 20:6).
What age will we be?
Likely the peak age of maturity and strength, as Christ was in His resurrected body.
Do our works impact our resurrection bodies?
To some degree, yes. Our works do not earn salvation but will impact rewards (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
While we do not have all the answers, we can trust God’s perfect plan. Our task is to trust Him and look forward to the hope He has promised.
How should a biblical understanding of resurrection bodies impact us practically?
- It gives us hope and perspective amidst suffering and trials (Romans 8:18)
- It reminds us that our current bodies are sacred and meant to honor God (Romans 12:1)
- It motivates us to use our bodies as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13)
- It helps us set our minds on the eternal rather than the temporal (Colossians 3:2)
- It inspires us to sow generously, knowing we reap imperishable rewards (1 Corinthians 15:58)
- It causes us to long for Christ’s return and the resurrection (2 Timothy 4:8)
As we wait with expectation for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23), we can walk by faith, live with holy devotion, set our minds on heavenly realities, and hope fully in God’s promises.
The biblical truths about our resurrection bodies fill us with awe and hope. While many specifics remain unclear, we know our weak, earthly bodies will one day be transformed. They will be imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. This will equip us to enjoy intimacy with Christ and worship God forever. As believers, we eagerly await this amazing future resurrection.