What Kind of Body?

Brian Keepers

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” (v. 35)

I was doing a children’s sermon about how God is going to give us new bodies someday. A little boy, clearly puzzled, raised his hand. “Will I look like I am now or when I’m all grow’ed up?” he asked. “And will you know it’s me?”

They’re great questions. Some Christians in Corinth were asking similar questions, more out of skepticism than curiosity. If there really is a bodily resurrection, they scoffed, then what kind of body will it be? Paul addresses their skepticism by insisting that while these new bodies are the same as our earthly bodies, they will also be different. Like Jesus’ resurrected body, they will be transformed into a new glorious state—a spiritual body.

By “spiritual” body, Paul doesn’t mean a nonphysical body, but a body that is free from sickness and decay, aging, and weakness: “What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (vv. 42-43).

All of this is wrapped in mystery. Now we can only speculate. But someday we will know for certain. Paul’s point is that our future life in eternity will nonetheless be embodied. “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (v. 49). —Brian Keepers

As you pray, ask God for grace to accept your present limitations, and thank him for what is yet to come.