“Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:49).
All believers can look forward to one day receiving new bodies and new images.
Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances present a glimpse of the greatness, power, and wonder that our own resurrection bodies will have. Our Lord appeared and disappeared at will and always reappeared in other places. He was able to go through walls and doors, but He could also eat, drink, sit, talk, and be seen by others. Jesus was remarkably the same as before His death, yet He was even more remarkably changed. The body the disciples and other followers saw after the Resurrection was the same one we’ll see when we go to be with Him. Christ will also appear in the same form when He returns to earth (Acts 1:11).
As it was with Jesus, our perishable, natural, and weak bodies will be raised imperishable, spiritual, and powerful. No longer will they limit us in our service to God. In Heaven we’ll blaze forth the magnificent glory that God so graciously gives to His own (Matt. 13:43). Christ promises to “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:21).
The future resurrection of believers to the glories of Heaven has always been a blessed hope and motivation for the church through the centuries— and it should be for you and me. No matter what our present bodies are like— healthy or unhealthy, beautiful or plain, short-lived or long-lived, pampered or abused—they are not our permanent bodies. One day these natural, created bodies will be re-created as supernatural. Even though the Bible gives us just a glance at what those new bodies will be like, it is a precious assurance to know that “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2).
Suggestions for Prayer
Pray for an opportunity to share insights from this study with a Christian friend, especially if he or she has been discouraged recently.
For Further Study
Read Luke 24:33-53.
- What do verses 37-43 verify about Jesus’ new body?
- Write down other things from the entire passage that describe how Jesus had changed from the way He was prior to the cross. How had He remained the same?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.