The State of the Redeemed in Heaven
The redeemed will have a physical state of existence in heaven. The idea that the redeemed in heaven will be in a spiritual state like ghosts has no scriptural support. Before Jesus’ death, He affirmed to His disciples that the redeemed will have physical bodies and they will eat and drink. Jesus said, “I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).
It is possible that Jesus was referring to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). As the Last Supper was parallel to the meaningful event that made possible the plan of salvation, so the future marriage supper of the Lamb will commemorate the victory of that divine plan.
Jesus Had a Physical Body After the Resurrection
After the resurrection, Jesus showed His disciples that He possessed flesh and bones and He ate food in front of them and asked them to feel His body.
“Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and afrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.” “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and … while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:36-39, 41-43, 50, 51).
Jesus Ascended to Heaven With a Physical Body
Jesus ascended to heaven with His body of flesh and bones and will come again to the earth in the same body. The angels affirmed this fact to the disciples as they were watching their master ascend. The angels said, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Jesus still retained His human nature.
The angel’s promise confirmed that Christ’s return will be personal (this same Jesus), visible (ye have seen him go), with the clouds (a cloud received him) and certain (shall so come). It will not be a spiritual appearance. Just as Christ ascended with His physical body, He will come again with His physical body. Likewise, at the second coming, the righteous will be given physical bodies just like the body of Christ and will be real people with flesh and bones throughout eternity. “The Lord Jesus Christ … shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20, 21).
The saved are not only to have Christ’s character but also to be given immortal bodies similar to that of Jesus since His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51–53). This change completes the saving work. The believers will be fully transformed into the likeness of their Savior. But the heavenly bodies will no longer be subject to death. “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body)… we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies” (2 Corinthians 5:1, 3).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,