How Are the Dead Raised Up?


“But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?’” 1 Cor. 15:35 (read 35-58)

Have you ever wondered what kind of body you will have in the resurrection – what you will be like?

It’s hard even to begin to imagine what we will be like on that day when Jesus Christ returns and raises up those who have died trusting in His name and changes the living who trust in Him for forgiveness and life.

What do the Scriptures say?

Jesus told the Sadducees that in the resurrection there is no marriage: “The children of this world marry and are given in marriage, but those who are accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage, neither can they die anymore, because they are equal to the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:34-36).

After pointing out that we will be made like Christ when He was raised up (1 Cor. 15:35ff., St. Paul wrote: “Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality” (v. 50-53).

St. Paul also wrote to the Philippians: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our vile body so that it may be fashioned like his glorious body, according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to himself” (Phil. 3:20-21).

So, what will we be like? The best answer I can give you is that we will be like Christ Jesus, who died our death for us and was raised up in glory never to die again. So also, after we die and our sin-corrupted bodies are laid in the grave, the bodies which are raised up will be changed from this corruptible flesh and blood to a glorified and perfect heavenly body made to live with our God and Savior forever. Our bodies which are raised up will be changed so that we are without sin, without growing old, without disease, without weakness and without death.

St. John wrote in 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

It will be as God’s Word describes it in the Book of Revelation (21:3-4): “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away.”

Even now, we are being changed by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit into the image of our Savior. As St. Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

And though we, as believers, do not long for death, we do long for the redemption of our sin-corrupted bodies so that we might be fully conformed to the image of Christ Jesus, our Savior. St. Paul wrote to the Romans that we, “ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, namely, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23; cf. 2 Cor. 5:1ff.; Rom. 8:18-23, 28ff.).

With David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, we say, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied with your likeness when I awake” (Psalm 17:15).

Dear Lord Jesus, grant us faith to believe that as You have been raised up from the dead in glory, so we will be raised up with glorified and heavenly bodies, like unto You, and live in Your presence and glorify You, the Father and the Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from the Revised Common Version of the Bible.]

Categories ,