Will I Have A Body In Heaven
Will I Have A Body In Heaven?
The simple answer is Yes! It will be a spiritual body—one that is far more appropriate for the new dimension in the new cosmos in which we will be living. It will be a body tailor-made by God, “eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Just as God formed our physical substance and frame in the womb, and had a plan for our days on earth, (Psalm 139:13-16) so will He craft a spiritual body for us in the heavens. We are not our bodies—not our earthly bodily frame nor our future heavenly one. A body simply enables us to function in a dimension of the cosmos.
According to Jesus, it is intolerable for any spirit to be without a body-home. (Luke 11:24) Part of what makes us frightened about dying is that we do not want to be left unclothed, without a body. (2 Corinthians 5:4) Our uneasiness about whether or not we really will have a body to be in, coupled with understandable curiosity, gives rise to the questions, “What kind of body will it be? What will it be like”. The exact kind of answer we would like to have to those questions is not given in the Bible. When we think of the sort of body we would like to have, we tend to think in terms of physical features. Our heavenly bodies are not described in the Bible, at least not their appearance or outward features.
But we can surmise several facts about the bodies we will have after death.
Since we were made in God’s image to begin with, most likely our heavenly bodies will resemble our earthly bodies—only in a more glorified manner. This view is supported by Jesus’ appearance after his resurrection. Before He ascended out of physical sight and into the [invisible] third heaven, His glorified body was similar to His earthly body. The main difference between His earthly and heavenly bodies was not in appearance but in capabilities. In His spirit body He could function in the earthly realm—speaking, walking, eating, etc.—but He also moved in the realm of the spirit—vanishing from sight, (Luke 24:31) walking through walls, (John 20:26) and being received up into the third heaven.
Several of the people who saw Jesus on earth after He had risen from the dead thought He was a ghost, not a real person:
But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they still could not believe it for joy and were marveling, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them. Luke 24:37-43
One of His disciples, Thomas, who had not seen the resurrected Jesus with his own eyes, conjected that the other disciples had only seen a spirit. After Jesus appeared to all the disciples again and allowed Thomas to touch the places on Jesus’ body that had been wounded by the spikes and the spear during the Crucifixion, Jesus says to Thomas, “A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (John 20:27).
Jesus had been functioning in both the earthly and the spiritual realms throughout His life—walking on water and being transfigured on the mountain when Peter, James and John beheld Him conversing with Moses and Elijah. (Mark 9:1-8) When Jesus was transfigured [metamorphosed], His whole being became suffused with a radiance and brightness that was not of this world. (Mark 9:3) Something of that glorious brightness will radiate from our heavenly bodies, too. But Jesus still looked like Jesus.
The bodies that we will have after death will not be made of flesh and blood, but they will be stunningly more attractive than our earthly bodies in the same way that flowers are more beautiful than the seeds from which they came. (1 Corinthians 15:37) As opposed to being perishable—like gallons of milk with expiration dates—our spirit bodies will remain constantly fresh. Our heavenly bodies will never be “getting along in years” or getting old. They will be constantly renewed. Earthly bodies develop toward maturity, then begin to wear out. Aging on earth is synonymous with wrinkling, stooping, graying and growing increasingly feeble. No such process will exist in Heaven. Earthly bodies, which encase the essence of our person hood that God forms in our mothers’ womb, start very small (as babies) so that they can fit in wombs. Nobody gets born in Heaven, so no one will need to be that young! We will all have been made perfect (complete) in Heaven, and that implies mature.
Our heavenly bodies will bear testimony to the truth about God and His way. Our current bodies of flesh set themselves against the Spirit, and so often oppose God. (Romans 8:1-8 and Galatians 5:16-17) They carry the imprint of Adam and Eve’s sin. Instead of being born in the dishonor of Adam’s sin, our heavenly bodies will be living displays to commemorate Jesus’ obedience. Our heavenly bodies will not fight against God’s way for us, they will work for us to accomplish His plans.
And on an especially positive note, our heavenly bodies will not lose steam late at night, and they will not have trouble getting going in the morning. Here on earth the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mark 14:38) Our earthly bodies are feeble, frail and susceptible to every manner of sickness and temptation. Headaches, a broken foot, or a bout with the stomach flu quickly convince us that our made-of-clay bodies are a force to reckon with. Our bodies resist, demand, expand and break down. Our heavenly bodies, on the other hand, will be a miraculous power supply aiding us in our spiritual lives. They will be like fuel tanks or extra battery packs that actually add vitality to our souls/spirits, rather than depleting them.
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