The Resurrection of the Body gets a mixed emotional response from people, because people have a love/hate relationship with their own bodies. So let us start with the body you have. Perhaps it falls short of the body you wish to have. You might be feeling some of the affects of getting old. You may have to struggle with weight control. You definitely have physical limits. You may no longer, or maybe not ever, been seen as particularly attractive. These things hurt. But let us also acknowledge this, even with its flaws under sin and the curse, your body is quite an amazing feat of engineering. The processes that each cell must do just to keep you alive is astounding. The Bible says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, and the psalmist who wrote that didn’t have a tenth of the information we have about the body.
So how much will your resurrected body have in common with your current body. I think, not much. We don’t have much information about our resurrected bodies, so most of our questions are for now unanswerable. I would urge you, based on the information the Bible does give us, to keep an open mind about what it will be like. Here is what we know:
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 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. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
From this you can dismiss aging, sickness and death for sure. There may be physical limitations, but they sure won’t be the limitations you face now. Sinful nature will be gone. I wouldn’t interpret “spiritual body” to mean “without a physical presence” or anything like that. The next paragraph in 1 Corinthians unpacks this phrase a bit:
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The first Adam became a living being”, the last Adam (Jesus), a life giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural. The first man was of the dust of the Earth, the second man from Heaven, so also are those who are of Heaven. And just as we have born the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from Heaven.
This would encourage us to look at the properties of Jesus’ resurrected body. He is tangible, but seems to move freely and instantly without barrier. His appearance is recognizable except when he doesn’t wish to be recognized. Possibly changing in appearance. He bears some marks from His life, but only as marks of honor.
Without unpacking every proof passage that might suggest the answer. Here are some understandable questions about the resurrected body, and my humble opinion of what the Bible says about them:
- Will we recognize people? Yes, including people we never met.
- Will we be beautiful? Absolutely gorgeous.
- Will we retain any of our personality? Yes, but sin and damage free.
- Will we eat? Yes, but never hunger.
- Will we sleep? Not so sure.
- Will we work? Yes, but not labor. Our activities will be very satisfying.
- Will we love and be loved? Yes, all relationships will be loving.
- Will we be male or female? I think yes.
- Will we be sexual? Most say no. I think yes.
- Will we be confined to the New Earth? I think not.
- Will we remember our lives here? Yes, but in a fading fashion
We can speculate on many things, but there is very little information. The information does intrigue, however. For those who belong to Christ, the resurrection will be a great thing.