What Will Our Heavenly Bodies Be Like?

Raised in Glory

Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 1 Corinthians 15:42–43 (NLT)

Do you feel dissatisfied when you view your reflection in a mirror? You’re not alone. A 2018 poll found that nearly 80% of Americans are unhappy with “how their body looks at times.”[1]

Even if we exercise and eat right, we may still find some aspect of our physique unsatisfactory. Maybe you, like me, look forward to a perfect heavenly body—although my earthly concept of perfection may not fully coincide with God’s definition.

What will we look like in heaven?

In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul said that our heavenly body will be similar to our earthly one, but far better. Eugene Peterson explains Paul’s point this way: “same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality” (15:44 MSG).

What will be the same about our bodies? Jesus’s post-resurrection appearances give some clues. He wasn’t a spirit—people could see him, touch him, hear him. He spoke and ate. Jesus’s followers also recognized him, so the physical appearance of his resurrected body had not changed in any significant way. Even the marks of crucifixion were visible (John 20:20).

Jesus’s resurrected body also generates speculation about how our heavenly bodies will be different. He entered rooms without opening doors (John 20:19). He disappeared in an instant (Luke 24:31). He ascended into the sky without a visible means of transport (Acts 1:9). Will that be possible for us as well?

First Corinthians 15:49 says, “Just as we have borne the likeness of earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” Think about the difference between the first cell phone you owned and the one you own now. That represents a tiny fraction of the difference between our earthly bodies and our heavenly ones.

I don’t know if mirrors exist in heaven, but if the streets are paved with pure gold, I’ll be able to see my reflection. What will I see? The best me possible, the me God always had in mind, the me that reflects all the attributes of Jesus—the me I have always longed to be.

Is that the perfection you long for as well?

Dig Deeper

Read 1 Corinthians 15:35–57. What is Paul emphasizing about our bodies in heaven? How should that affect our conduct on earth according to verse 58?

Will we recognize one another in heaven? Consider these passages: Matthew 8:11, Matthew 17:1–4, and Luke 16:19–24.

What do Romans 8:29, Philippians 3:20–21, and 1 John 3:2 say about our heavenly bodies? What should be our response to “this hope” according to 1 John 3:3?

Denise K. Loock

This devotion is part of our series on Heaven.


[1] “Most Americans Experience Feeling Dissatisfied with Body Looks from Time to Time,” Ipsos, accessed 29 January 2020, https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/most-americans-experience-feeling-dissatisfied-with-body-looks-from-time-to-time  

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