What Your Resurrected Body Will Look Like

April 8, 2016 — 1 Corinthians 15:35–41

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

One of the more ponderous topics I can think of is what the nature of our resurrected bodies will be. It is something that we can spend hours and hours thinking about and never really draw any sort of clear conclusions. Paul was pretty aware of this when he started talking about the nature of the mysterious.

It is not unusual for Paul to challenge our need for answers. We are built to be curious and seek out answers. Now that we are so influenced by enlightenment thinking, we strive to know the answer to any question that pops into our mind. I find it interesting that there are times that we are called to search the scriptures for truth, and other times to trust in God’s plan for us.

Paul’s little rebuke leads me to think that the topic of resurrection was causing a mild form of anxiety of all the ins and outs. Living in a way that doesn’t have peace in the future reveals our lack of trust of how God is going to work things out. For that reason we need to take care that our questioning of the mysteries of Heaven.

God loves our curiosity, and as my college literature professor always said, “we need to have a sanctified imagination.” We are able to have works like Pilgrim’s Progress, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Paradise Lost, because of Christian creatives who delved into the strange unknowns of faith.

Imagining what our resurrection bodies will be like is really cool when you think about all of Paul’s language of different kinds of flesh, and different levels of glory. One thing that I ponder is that it seems that just as fruits follow from the kind of tree that they grow out of, plants grow out of the seeds that are planted. We should take pause and consider what the implications of that would be on our day-to-day lives.

Christians often see life as having spiritual ramifications in the afterlife. There is a lot of talk of talents, rewards, and faithful servants. But, as we often do, a platonic perspective of the body is adopted. We stop at language that “the body is a temple” and just pine for Heaven where all of our sickness and aliments will be healed. After all, the blind will see, and the deaf will hear, so if I totally blow out my body by my lifestyle it is no big deal.

The fact of the matter is that just as we are held responsible for the actions we take with regards to spiritual sin, we are also held responsible for our physical sins. Gluttony is closely tied to self-control — and while we might suffer different levels of consequences in this life based on our metabolism, or genetics, there is a very real possibly that the way that we treat our bodies will have eternal ramifications. How? I’m not certain, but it is something we should be asking ourselves a little bit more if you ask me.