The Hope of the Resurrection
As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” … See my hands and my feet, that it 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 had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. … They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Luke 24:36, 39-40, 42-43 ESV
As followers of Christ having accepted Him as Savior and placed our trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins, we are promised by the Lord Himself a new body at the resurrection of the righteous. This new body will be different from our current one in many ways, yet still maintaining the same basic shape (two hands, two feet, head, torso, legs, etc.) We draw these conclusions from the model of the resurrected body of Jesus when He appeared to His disciples during the 40 days after His own resurrection. Let’s note some of the characteristics of His new body.
What appears to be the same – He still has the nail marks from His crucifixion in His hands and feet (will they remain for all eternity as a reminder to us all in heaven of His sacrifice for us)? He has two hands and two feet. He can walk. His body appears as ‘flesh and bones’ – not some spiritual ghost-like body. He has a mouth and He can eat with it. Do you wonder, at least I do, about the digestive process in the resurrected body? He can speak with this new mouth, and apparently hear with His new ears when spoken to by the disciples. Earlier on the first Easter morning when appearing to two on the road to Emmaus He walked and talked with them, sat down, prayed, tore bread, and passed it to the two (see Luke 24:28-32). Perhaps it was in the passing of the bread that they saw His nail marks and recognized Him?
But for all these similar characteristics, our eternal bodies will have major upgrades. First of all, it is an eternal body – no degenerative aging or decay. It will last forever! Jesus in His new body was able to materialize and disappear at will. With His new body He could move through walls and enter locked rooms (see John 20:19ff). He could ascend into heaven from earth at will (see Acts 1, and the end of Luke 24). He moved about on the earth – appearing in and around Jerusalem and Galilee (around Capernaum) as well as making personal visits to Peter and to James His brother (see 1 Corinthians 15).
We know enough to have anchored hope in the promised resurrection of our new perfect body. But there is also the reality that, “… No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT)
Therefore, comfort and encourage one another with these words!