One of the most exciting Scripture passages in the Bible is written by the Apostle Paul
and found in 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. For your convenience, I will include this passage below in the New Living Translation (NLT).
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Now if that doesn’t get your heart pumping, nothing will. Every child of God can rejoice in these verses and eagerly anticipate a new perfect body like our Lord’s. Death may take our body to the grave, but death has no victory or sting over us. The Lord said through the prophet Hosea,
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” (Hosea 13:14)
There is not a person among us who is not familiar with some kind of physical weakness in our earthly bodies. The hospitals and nursing homes are filled with those whose bodies are in chronic condition, perhaps dying. Sin has wreaked havoc on these mortal bodies, and will continue to do so until Jesus brings it all to an end.
Many of my loved ones, and yours, have succumbed to the disintegration of their bodies to the point of death, but that will be no more.
So far, I am a fairly healthy 65 year old. Some arthritis is starting to set in, and I tire much easier than when I was younger, but that is just a natural process of aging. In my new body there will be no aches and pains and I will not tire out. All of us will be perfectly healthy and capable of doing things that would not be possible in these earthly bodies.
Paul explains the necessity of our dying in order that our new body can be provided for us, as a seed that goes into the ground and comes up as a glorified product of its own kind. He also states, if you notice, that some will not die, but will be transformed (verse 51). He is referring to the Rapture.
Just think of any vegetable, flower, shrub or tree you choose and look at what comes from a small seed that is buried in the ground. The finished product is nothing like the seed that was buried. To the contrary, it is a totally different product of what it started out being. It is much more beautiful, much more productive in its final state. So will be our new bodies.
Why will Jesus give us new bodies? These earthly bodies cannot exist anywhere but on earth. For us to traverse the universes to our final destination in the Father’s house, we must have a body that is capable of that feat. Our earthly bodies are laden down with sin, so He gives us a new body that is without sin. We are made holy and pure not just in spirit, but also in our new heavenly bodies. A fish cannot exist on land, and humans cannot exist away from the earth in heavenly spaces, but with a heavenly body, we can.
The New Jerusalem will be our home with the Lord Jesus Christ. The new earth will be our field of service as will the entire universe. We will traverse the heavens in our glorified bodies, performing whatever work our Lord assigns us. We won’t need telescopes, spaceships and space suits to behold the glory of God’s creation. We will reign with God on high in whatever position he gives us.
Instead of a broken down body that dies with age, we will be eternal in a heavenly body that will never know the aging process. There will be no aches and pains. There will be no broken hearts. There will be no sinful thoughts and deeds. All will be perfect, because Jesus has transformed us in body, soul and spirit to be in the family of the one and only true God. We will not be gods, of course, but we will have His cloak of righteousness forever upon us. We will live in peace and harmony with all that is around us and actually walk with God, as Adam and Eve before the fall. However, unlike Adam and Eve, we will not be confined to earth or have to worry about being tempted by Satan or his forces. They will have already been put away for good.
We may enter a room without opening the door if we choose. We may eat if we choose. We will know our loved ones, and know all who live among us in the Heavenly kingdom.
It is my opinion that God will erase from our minds those we loved on earth who did not come to Him through His Son Jesus, and are not with us in Heaven.
Unbelievers call this our day-dreaming of “pie in the sky,” but the Word of God, which cannot lie, confirms this will be more real than anything we know now. Look up, for it may not be long now, until He calls us home.