Excerpted from Beyond the Sunset
by Perry Coffman, used by permission
The Resurrection – Body Will Be Raised
The Redeemed Will Have a Body Like Christ’s
Again, Paul said to the Christians in Philippi that when Christ comes He “will fashion the body of our humbleness, that it may become transformed to the body of his glory, according to the working of which he is able to even subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:21).
The passage does not say that the present body will give place to another body, but that it will be changed and fashioned after the glorious resurrection-body of Christ. This verse locates the change in the body. The believer’s body will be changed from the present vile flesh and be fashioned after the body of Christ which He now has in heaven. Goodspeed’s translation of the passage says that Crist “will make our bodies over to resemble his glorious body.” Hence, saints in heaven shall bear the image of the heavenly being, conforming to the glorified Christ.
Since Scripture says it is the image of the heavenly, not the image of the earthly, which the righteous are to put on (1Corintians 15:49) like the glorious body of Christ (Philippians 3:21), some claim that the resurrected body of Christ, while on earth and before His ascension, serves as the pattern of man’s future resurrected body. This, however, is without scriptural foundation. Since Christ returned to life in the body that was crucified and buried, which did not see corruption, this then cannot be proof that Christians are so to be raised.
If one could obtain a knowledge of Christ’s present glorified body---the body He now has in heaven---he would indeed have a pattern of that resurrected body in glory. The fact, then, that because the fleshly body of Jesus was raised from the dead does not necessarily imply that He ascended in the same body; nor does it imply that His body was in the same state in which He arose and had on earth for forty days. Christ’s glorified body must have been put on at or after His few brief references to His body after His ascension: He was seen in heaven by Stephen (Acts 7:56), later in a vision by Paul (1Corinthians 15:8; Acts 9:4,17; 22:14;26:16), and finally in a vision by John on the Isle of Patmos (Revelation 1:10-18). All that can be said, therefore, of the resurrection-body of the believer is that it will be like the glorified body of Christ. Raised from the dead by the Lord’s power, believers at the resurrection shall be transformed into His glorious image.