What Will Our Resurrection Body Be Like?

Scripture does provide certain key rails for our train of thought on the resurrection.

What will our body be like? Will it be like we have now but with what we might call super powers? Will a disabled body from birth have an abled body that, in many ways, will look and act quite different in the resurrection (as in the case with cerebral palsy)? And if someone has a disability of cognition in this life but not in the next, then in what sense will this person’s consciousness remain between the first life and the next? 

 

After we die, our bodies will (likely) be buried and then slowly decay. After many years, no distinguishable feature of our corpse will be left in the ground. Then we will resurrect from the dead. How? Will the biological material, dispersed through the ground, adapted into the flora and fauna, and consumed by animal life now be torn from these sources? 

And then what will our body be like? Will it be like we have now but with what we might call super powers? Will a disabled body from birth have an abled body that, in many ways, will look and act quite different in the resurrection (as in the case with cerebral palsy)? And if someone has a disability of cognition in this life but not in the next, then in what sense will this person’s consciousness remain between the first life and the next? 

We can ask a great deal many more questions. Suffice it to say, our resurrection bodies and the experience of our resurrection life lies under a cloud of mystery. Yet Scripture does provide certain key rails for our train of thought on the resurrection. They are:

Our Resurrection Body Will be Immortal and Incorrupt

In the most detailed passage on the resurrection in Scripture, Paul asserts: “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor 15:50). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom? 

Yet Christians as a whole affirm that our resurrection body will be continuous with our body now, and today we have flesh and blood. If we keep reading, however, Paul’s sense become clear (and in the next heading below even more so). The apostle explains, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Cor 15:51–52). 

Paul thus conceives of a change from flesh and blood into something else. What is that something else? The apostle writes, “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Cor 15:52–53). 

The change Paul conceives of is one from flesh and blood (I have yet to define that phrase) to imperishability (lit: incorruptibility, a much better term). We move from a “perishable body” to an imperishable body. We move from a “mortal body” to an immortal body. 

This then explains what Paul means by “flesh and blood.” By this phrase, he signifies a corrupt and mortal existence. The resurrection changes us into a incorrupt and immortal existence. We therefore have a resurrection body like Jesus’ who conquered death, a body that God did not allow to see corruption in sheol (Ps 16:10). 

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