What Will Be The Character Of Our Resurrection Bodies – Spiritual Reading.
1. First of all, we know that the body which is raised will not be exactly the same body that it was when it was laid in the grave.
This appears from I Cor. 15:35-38: “But some will say, how are the dead raised? And with what manner of body do they come? Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not in the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own.”
Here we are told that our bodies when they are raised will not be exactly the same as our bodies when they are buried, any more than the wheat that springs from the kernel of wheat that is planted is the same as the kernel that was planted. But just as what grows from the seed comes from the seed and bears the most intimate relation to the seed, so our resurrection bodies come from the body that is buried and bear the most intimate relation to it.
The resurrection body is the outcome of the body that is buried. It is the old body quickened and transformed; or, as Paul puts it in Phil. 3:20, 21: “Jesus Christ . . . shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself.”
2. The next thing that the Bible teaches about our resurrection bodies is that they are like the glorified body of Jesus Christ.
This appears from the verses just quoted, Phil. 3:20, 21: “The Lord Jesus Christ . . . shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the work whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself.”
Christ’s resurrection body was not the same body that was laid in the sepulchre. It was the old body transformed and delivered from the limitations of the body that He had while living here among men, and new qualities imparted to it, and our bodies will also be transformed into the likeness of this glorious body of Christ and thus delivered from the limitations to which they are subjected now, and new qualities imparted to them.
It will be a transformed body; the character of its transformation is indicated by the transformation that took place in the body of Jesus Christ. Some suggestion as to what that transformed body of Jesus Christ was like is found in that anticipation of His resurrection which was seen by Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration.
Matthew in his description of the appearance of Jesus at His transfiguration, tells us that “His face did shine as the sun, and his garments [became white as the light” (Matt. 17:2). Luke tells us that “the fashion of his countenance was altered and His raiment became white and dazzling” (Luke 9:29). Mark tells us that “He was transfigured before them: and his garments became glistering, exceeding white; so as no fuller on earth can whiten them” (Mark 9:2, 3).
3. The next thing that we are told about our resurrection bodies is that they will not be flesh and blood.
In I Cor. 15:50, 51 we read, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul is here talking about our resurrection bodies. It is in the resurrection chapter he says this, and he distinctly tells us that our resurrection bodies will not be “flesh and blood.”
4. But while our resurrection bodies will not be “flesh and blood,” they will have “flesh and bones.”
This appears from what our Lord Himself says about His own resurrection body in Luke 24:39. Here we read that Jesus said: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye behold me having.”
As our resurrection bodies are to be transformed into the likeness of His, we also must have “flesh and bones” in our resurrection bodies. Some have fancied that they saw a contradiction between what our Lord says here and what Paul says in the passage quoted above (I Cor.15:50, 51), but there is no contradiction. “Flesh” we shall have, but not “flesh and blood,” i.e., not flesh, the animating principle of which is blood.
The question arises, What takes the place of the blood in our resurrection bodies? The answer seems to be that in the present life, “blood is the life” of the natural body, but in the life to come our bodies are to be, as we are told elsewhere in this same chapter, “spiritual bodies,” i.e., bodies, the animating principle of which is the Spirit of God, not our own blood. Our not having “blood” in our resurrection bodies involves many great and glorious possibilities, upon which we cannot dwell now.
5. In the fifth place (and closely connected with 3 and 4), our resurrection bodies will be incorruptible.
We read in I Cor. 15:42: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” The thought of this word “incorruption” is that the body is not subject to decay, it is imperishable.
Our present bodies are decaying all the time. We are perishing every day and every minute. My present body is disintegrating while I talk to you. But the bodies that we shall receive in the resurrection will be absolutely free from the liability to corruption or decay. They cannot disintegrate or suffer decay or deterioration of any kind.
6. The next thing that we are taught about the resurrection body is that it is a glorious body.
This comes out in the first part of the following verse, I Cor. 15:43, “It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory.” Some idea of the glory, the [glorious beauty, of that body is suggested by the representation of our glorified Lord that we have in Rev. 1:13-17: “And in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle. And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire and his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace, and his voice as the voice of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as one dead, and he laid his right hand upon me saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last.” Our resurrection bodies will be like that.
7. Furthermore, our resurrection bodies will be powerful.
Or as we read in the last half of this same verse (1 Cor. 15:43), “It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.” Then all our weariness and weakness will be forever at an end. In our present bodies our bodies are oftentimes a hindrance to our highest aspirations, they thwart the carrying out of our loftiest purposes, we cannot put into execution our loftiest purposes, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” But in our resurrection bodies the body will be able to accomplish all that the spirit purposes. The redeemed body will be a perfect counterpart of the [redeemed spirit that inhabits it. No deafness, dimsightedness nor blindness, no tired hands and feet, no maimed soldier boys coming home from the war.
8. It will be a heavenly body.
This appears from the 47th to the 49th verses of this same chapter. “The first man is of (literally, out of) the earth, earthy: the second man is of (literally, out of) heaven: as is the earth, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” The thought plainly is that our present bodies are of an earthly origin and an earthly character, but that the transformed body will be of a heavenly character.
Paul explains it at length in 2 Cor. 5:1-4 where he says, “For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. For verily in this (i.e., in this present earthly house, earthy body) we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven (i.e., our heavenly body): if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For indeed we that are in this tabernacle (i.e., in the present earthy body) groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon (i.e., with our heavenly body), that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life.”
9. Our transformed bodies will be luminous, shining, dazzling, bright like the sun.
This is seen in many passages. For example, Matt. 13:43, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” This is to be taken literally for it is in the interpretation of the parable and not in the parable. This suggests what we have already seen about the transfigured body of Jesus in Matt. 17:2, where we are told that “His face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light.” We have the same thought also in the Old Testament in Dan. 12:3, where we are told, “And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”
They shall shine literally as well as figuratively. Some suggestion of what the luminous glory of our faces and forms in our resurrection bodies will be is seen in the light that Paul tells us that he saw beaming from the person of Jesus when the glorified Jesus met him on the Damascus road. In Paul’s description of what he saw on that occasion, as given in Acts 26:12, 13, we read, “Whereupon as I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining around about me and them that journeyed with me.” The light that Saul saw, as is evident from the whole account, was the light that shone from the person of our glorified Lord, [and in our resurrection bodies we shall be like Him.
10. Three interesting facts regarding our resurrection bodies are stated in Matt. 22:30 and Luke 20:35, 36.
In Matt. 22:30 we read: “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven.” In Luke 20:35, 36 we read: “But they that are counted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” Taking these two passages together, we learn that our resurrection bodies are like the angels, that we do not marry in our resurrection bodies and that these bodies cannot die any more.
11. Though all these resurrection bodies are glorious, they differ from one another, each one having its own peculiar glory.
This appears from 1 Cor. 15:41, 42: “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection from the dead.” Glorious as all our bodies shall be, there will be no tiresome uniformity even of glory in the world of resurrection bodies. Each body will have its own peculiar glory.
12. Let us say finally in regard to the character of our resurrection body, that the resurrection of our body will be the consummation of our adoption, i.e., of our placing as sons, our manifestations as sons of God.
In Rom. 8:23 we read: “We, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption (i.e., our placing as sons), to wit, the redemption of our body.”
The resurrection body will be the consummation of our placing as sons, i.e., in the resurrection body it will be outwardly manifested that we are sons of God. Before His incarnation Christ was “in the form of God.” (Phil. 2:6), i.e., in the visible appearance of God. So shall we also be in the resurrection, for our bodies shall be like His.
This throws light upon what Paul meant when he said in Col. 3:4: “When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall we also with him be manifested in glory.” And also it throws light on what John meant when he says in I John 3:2, R. V.: “Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
You Might Also Like: