Tuesday, January 16, 2024

What Will Our ‘Glorified Bodies’ Be Like?

What Will Our ‘Glorified Bodies’ Be Like?

The Bible mentions, and the Church teaches, that all people who enter into Heaven for eternity will receive glorified bodies. We will not be pure spirits in Heaven. (I am, of course, using the word “we” in the interest of making the previous sentence flow a little smoother. I wish the Evangelical doctrine of “name it and claim it” were true, and that I could declare with certainty that I am definitely going to Heaven just because I sincerely said one prayer at one time many decades ago. But Scripture and the words of Jesus Himself make it quite clear that salvation through faith is a lifelong journey, not a one time event. So, the use of “we,” “us,” and “our” in the remainder of this essay is not meant to imply that I have arrogantly determined that I am a lock for Heaven. It’s more about my well-known obsession for employing goodly composition and grammarizing skills. [Yeah, sure!])

Anyway, getting back to glorified bodies in Heaven, the Bible says we will have them, but then does not offer very many details. 
The Catholic Answers website explains: “Those who die in the friendship of Christ will also triumph over sin and death, attaining a glorified body as we reign in eternal glory with the Lord (1 Cor. 15:35-57). As Jesus promises, his Father’s heavenly home has many rooms, and he has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us (John 14:2).” (Emphasis added.)

Most religious scholars say that Jesus’ glorified body after the Resurrection is a good indication of what our glorified bodies will be like. When He interacted with His disciples, it seems some changes had occurred. First, the Lord just appeared suddenly in the room, even though the door was locked. So, maybe the ability to walk right through walls is an aspect of glorified bodies. Next, the disciples did not quite recognize Jesus at first, indicating that His appearance was somewhat different than what He looked like before the Resurrection.

Just to make sure the disciples did not think He was only a spiritual apparition, that is, a ghost, Jesus ate some food and had all the guys touch Him. His glorified body definitely was physical.

For those of us who make it to Heaven — those of us who persevere in running the race of faith to the very end — what will our glorified bodies be like? The first thing that occurs to me is: I sure hope aching knees, near-sightedness, and insomnia are not part of the deal. Wouldn’t that be nice if the chronic aches and pains, plus all the sagging, drooping, and wrinkling effects of aging, suddenly disappeared when we receive our glorified bodies?

Another question: what age will our glorified bodies be? When Jesus rose from the dead and received His glorified body, He was 33 years old. In Heaven, will everyone appear the way they did at age 33? That’s not a bad age, mind you. Right now, I’d love to have the same knees, hair, and skin tautness I had when I was 33. But if we have the opportunity to choose, I’d prefer age 22. That was before a decade of sitting at a desk started to turn me into a near-sighted, beer-bellied Weeble Wobble by my 30s.
I’m pretty sure all the things that pop into my head right now when I ponder the possibility of receiving a new, glorified body, are the exact things that God is not interested in. All of my thoughts revolve around vanity, pride, and self-centeredness. In Heaven, those sinful attitudes are not present at all. (However, those attitudes are the dominant features of Hell. Just sayin’.)

So, in Heaven we will receive perfect, glorified bodies for all eternity. Our bodies will be indescribably more wonderful than anything we’ve ever experienced on earth. And in yet another Christian paradox, we will not care one bit about how wonderful our glorified bodies are, because all of our attention will be directed outward, in praise and worship toward God Almighty. None of our attention will be directed inward, toward ourselves.  

If we make it to Heaven, we definitely will receive glorified bodies. And we won’t really care about the details, since we’ll be too busy loving and praising God. But I do hope my glorified body has healthy, pain-free knees — but only, of course, so I can kneel before the Lord. (Yeah, sure!)

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