What kind of bodies are WE resurrected into?

Jesus gave us very few hints as to the kind of bodies we receive when we’re resurrected from the dead. Lazarus was raised from the dead, yes, but he was still in the body he had, which would die a second time. Staggering though the miracle was, in reality Lazarus was just a corpse being revived. And all the other people whom Jesus raised from the dead would die again too.

The resurrection we receive, however, is much different to that. In Romans 8:29, Paul tells us that God is conforming us “to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers,” so whatever Jesus is like in his resurrected state right now as the firstborn of many is the likeness we will have when we join him as his resurrected brothers.

So what is Jesus like now? In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul talks of “The first man Adam,” who “became a living being” (quoting Genesis 2:7), but “the last Adam,” referring to Jesus, is “a life-giving spirit.” Jesus’ flesh and blood body was transformed in his resurrection. It became a “spiritual” body, which Paul defines as powerful, imperishable, and immortal (verses 42-44, 54). But most important – he had a body that could give life too.

Does that mean we’ll have that kind of body too? Yes, verse 49, for “just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” The body Jesus now has is the body we’ll be given: It’s powerful, imperishable and immortal. It is also capable of giving life. So in the same way that Jesus’ power “has given us everything we need for life and godliness,” enabling us to “participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world,” we will have that same power too.

Paul made that very clear in Philippians 3:20-21, when he talks of “the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they (too) will be like his glorious body.”

Imagine having the same power Jesus has IN FULL to give life to others. But we’re already experiencing a taste of it even before we’re resurrected. Right now the Spirit is transforming us into Jesus’ likeness “so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body,” 2 Corinthians 4:10. Already the life-giving spirit of Jesus “is at work” in us, verse 12.

It’s a lovely taste of the kind of bodies we’ll be resurrected into, as Jesus is already giving life to people through those who are “one with him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17).


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