The simple answer is Yes! It will be a spiritual body—one that is far more appropriate for the new dimension in the new cosmos in which we will be living. It will be a body tailor-made by God, “eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Just as God formed our physical substance and frame in the womb, and had a plan for our days on earth, (Psalm 139:13-16) so will He craft a spiritual body for us in the heavens. We are not our bodies—not our earthly bodily frame nor our future heavenly one. A body simply enables us to function in a dimension of the cosmos.
According to Jesus, it is intolerable for any spirit to be without a body-home. (Luke 11:24) Part of what makes us frightened about dying is that we do not want to be left unclothed, without a body. (2 Corinthians 5:4) Our uneasiness about whether or not we really will have a body to be in, coupled with understandable curiosity, gives rise to the questions, “What kind of body will it be? What will it be like”. The exact kind of answer we would like to have to those questions is not given in the Bible. When we think of the sort of body we would like to have, we tend to think in terms of physical features. Our heavenly bodies are not described in the Bible, at least not their appearance or outward features.
But we can surmise several facts about the bodies we will have after death.
Since we were made in God’s image to begin with, most likely our heavenly bodies will resemble our earthly bodies—only in a more glorified manner. This view is supported by Jesus’ appearance after his resurrection. Before He ascended out of physical sight and into the [invisible] third heaven, His glorified body was similar to His earthly body. The main difference between His earthly and heavenly bodies was not in appearance but in capabilities. In His spirit body He could function in the earthly realm—speaking, walking, eating, etc.—but He also moved in the realm of the spirit—vanishing from sight, (Luke 24:31) walking through walls, (John 20:26) and being received up into the third heaven.
Several of the people who saw Jesus on earth after He had risen from the dead thought He was a ghost, not a real person:
But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they still could not believe it for joy and were marveling, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them. Luke 24:37-43 One of His disciples, Thomas, who had not seen the resurrected Jesus with his own eyes, conjected that the other disciples had only seen a spirit. After Jesus appeared to all the disciples again and allowed Thomas to touch the places on Jesus’ body that had been wounded by the spikes and the spear during the Crucifixion, Jesus says to Thomas, “A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (John 20:27).
Category: Biblical Studies