Revelation 21: 3-5
God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’
Today we are asking: what about our bodies in Heaven?
As I said yesterday – when we die our physical bodies die but our spirits live on – either in Paradise or in the other part of Hades. But God’s plan was never to have us just as spiritual beings. We were made to have physical bodies – so as great as Paradise will be when we die and our spirits go to be with Jesus – that is not how we will spend eternity.
The central message of the New Testament is that humans will one day have a new resurrected body – that we will once again be whole people – and be returned to how we were created to be before the Fall. As one scholar puts it – as great as spiritual life in paradise will be – it will be ‘provisional, temporal and incomplete.’
Before Jesus, no one had ever been resurrected from the dead. Three times in the gospels Jesus raises the dead, but these are resuscitations not resurrections. The people brought back still got old and one day died again.
Jesus and Jesus alone has died, has been raised from the dead and will never die again.
Jesus resurrection proved that death does not have to be the end – death can be beaten, and if it could be beaten by Jesus, then one day all of those who know him and love him will also do what he did – we will receive new resurrection bodies.
This is most clearly shown by Paul in 1 Cor 15: 20-23
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”
Jesus it says, is the firstfruits – the first example of what lies ahead for all of us. As he was raised from the dead, so we too will be raised. A physical, bodily resurrection.
John Stott says this:
“The resurrection of Jesus provides solid, visible, tangible, public evidence of God’s purpose to give us new bodies in a new world.”
So we will live on a renewed earth in a resurrected perfect body. I’m not sure if we’ll get to choose our bodies. Ladies, you’ll not be able to say to God: 'I’ll have Jennifer Aniston’s body and Sandra Bullock’s face and Katie Price’s...." No we don’t want anything of Katie Price’s – it’s not real anyways!
We will have a body which doesn’t age or get sick or grow old or deteriorate. A healthy whole body free from aches and pains. That’s what it says in verse 4:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Imagine that. Some of you cry every single day for loved ones you’ve lost. No more mourning.
Some of you can’t imagine what it’s like to go a day without pain. No more pain.
Some of you have been battered by life, abused by others, disappointed by those you trusted, struggled with addictions, and heartbroken by loneliness. No more tears.
In fact, look at what it says: he will wipe every tear from their eyes. God himself stoops down and wipes our tears away.
No more death – the ultimate fear that we have – dying ourselves or losing those we love. Death will be no more.
It’s impossible to even imagine but in Heaven there will be no more sin, no suffering, no aches, no hurts, no abuse, no war, no violence, no cancer, no bleeding, no mental health problems, no hatred, so racism, no sectarianism, no broken bones, no broken hearts, no divorce, no domestic violence, no hunger... no funerals.
It’s life as we were always meant to live it.