What will heaven be like? What does the Bible say? Are we like the angels or like we are today?
After Jesus’ Resurrection
After Jesus died and was raised again, we see Him encounter the disciples and also the women at the tomb after His resurrection. Shortly after Jesus’ resurrection, two men “were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them” (Luke 24:13-15) and later “said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 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” (Luke 24:38-40). Here is concrete evidence that Jesus, being God, had a physical body, as we can’t see Spirit. The men must have seen the physical body of Jesus in order to be able to speak with Him and see His hands and feet. Further, He pointed out to them His nail-pierced hands and feet. He even said, “Touch me and see.”
Jesus Ate After the Resurrection
After Jesus’ bodily resurrection, He spoke to the two men who were headed toward the village of Emmaus and said to them, “’Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:26-27). “And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them” (Luke 24:41-42). So Jesus not only had a physical body after His resurrection, He could enjoy a good meal just like we can today. The men never thought that, since it was Jesus, He couldn’t eat. They wouldn’t have offered food to a spirit they could not see or touch. Clearly, Jesus had a physical body, just like He did before He was crucified. The only difference was the nail-pierced hands and feet. Nails can’t pierce the hands and feet of a spirit body.
We Shall Be Like Him
The Apostle John wrote that “we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). If we can see Him as He is at that time, we can infer that He has a physical appearance because Spirit is invisible. In describing the new birth or being born again, Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). An important point is that “we shall be like Him” and that “we shall see Him.” So He is visible, like a physical body is, but His body is glorified. Nonetheless, we will be able to see Him; and amazingly, we’ll be like Him, having both a spirit and a physical body. In regard to our bodies, Jesus said, “They cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36). This doesn’t say we’ll be like the angels but equal to the angels in respect to having eternal life and being unaffected by physical, human attributes like disease or injury and even death.
I think one of the most enjoyable and greatest pleasures in life is sitting down to a good meal. There’s something that’s satisfying about enjoying a good meal. God created us to enjoy the pleasures of life; and Jesus, as our Creator, knew this. After Jesus was resurrected, the disciples went back to fishing but fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus told them to cast the net again, and they could hardly pull in the net because it was so full of fish. After this “they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread” (John 21:9), and “Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish” (John 21:13).
After Jesus’ Death
Immediately after Jesus’ death, something remarkable happened. It says, “The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:51), and “the tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:52-53). If these saints who had fallen asleep were raised and came “out of the tombs after his resurrection,” they couldn’t have possibly “went into the holy city and appeared to many” if they were simply spirit beings and invisible. These saints had to have physical bodies in order to have “appeared to many.” It makes no sense to think after we’ve received a glorified body that we can’t be seen.
If you and I were simply spirit beings after being resurrected or glorified at Jesus second coming, could food even stay in our stomachs? After Jesus returns, it says the saints will “rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). And “the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God’” (Revelation 19:9). That feast before the Lord will include a meal with the very King of kings and Lord of lords; and for that, I can hardly wait.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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