Bodily Resurrection

This entry is part 25 of 365 in the series Inquiring Minds
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What will the resurrection of the body look like?

The resurrection of the body is talked about in several places throughout the New Testament. Paul mentions it at the end of his discussion on the resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15:50-58). He also mentions it when he speaks of the rapture, meaning “caught up” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Of all of the resurrections that happen in Scripture, most of them happen at the hands of the prophets or Jesus. Three resurrections happen from a tomb, Lazarus (John 11:38-44), saints on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion (Matthew 27:52-53), and Jesus himself (Matthew 28:1-9; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). Those who had not yet been buried are usually raised through prayer, touch, and the command to arise.

First, it is important that we trust and believe in the resurrection of Jesus because he is the firstborn out of the dead. Paul talks about all of the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). I strongly suggest that you read the entirety of 1 Corinthians 15.

Now the resurrection of the body refers to believers who have either died or will be alive when Jesus returns. Paul teaches that these corruptible bodies will be raised incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:53). He says that our bodies will be transformed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).

He describes it as a mystery. Nobody truly understands exactly what it will be like. But because he mentions that it will happen in the twinkling of an eye, I would imagine that it happens so fast we won’t even see the change. It is also doubtful that people will be seen rising in the air to meet the Lord. Christians will probably be there and then when people blink, they will be gone.

Elsewhere, Paul teaches that there is an order to our bodies being changed and raised. Those in Christ who have already died will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Then the rest of the living saints will then meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

As far as what it will look like, it’s most likely no one will actually see it happen. It will happen that quick. What I do know is that our new bodies will be imperishable, eternal bodies. We will have them for the rest of eternity in heaven with Christ.

I don’t know what kinds of abilities they will have. Take Jesus for an example when he received his new body. Some did not recognize him until he revealed himself (John 20:14-16; Luke 24:15-16). He was able to walk through walls (John 20:26), disappear and appear (Mark 16:12, 14;), and ascend into the heavens (Acts 1:9). Will all of these be our ability as well? In this case, we will all have to wait and see.

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