The word literal is complicated. According to one of the first definitions in the dictionary, literal means: “adhering...to the ordinary construction of primary meaning of a term or expression.” In other words, being literal can just mean saying what you mean to say, giving primary importance in the moment to...
Behold, I tell you a mystery. (1 Corinthians 15:51)
There is so much about the resurrection that we don’t know. But God has told us some things, and what He has told us is our hope, comfort, and joy. The resurrection body is described in four words in these verses.
The Resurrection Body will be Imperishable
What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:42)
Your resurrection body will never wear out, and it will never be sick. All limitations and disabilities we experience now in the body will be gone. The blind will see; the lame will walk and children in wheelchairs will run and dance. Those who’ve lost limbs will raise their arms in praise.
If you have some struggles with your body now, I tell you, you won’t be worried about this in the resurrection.
The Resurrection Body will be Glorious
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. (1 Corinthians 15:43)
Christ will change our lowly bodies, so they will be like His glorious body (Philippians 3:21), not merely Jesus’ resurrection body, but His body after the ascension. That’s what Paul saw on the road to Damascus, what John saw in the book of Revelation and what Peter saw in the Transfiguration.
The Resurrection Body will be Powerful
It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. (1 Corinthians 15:43)
The body is going to have more energy, more physical capability, more stamina, more athleticism, more speed, more coordination, more durability than it ever, ever had because we’re not going to need the body less, we’re going to need it more. (Donald Macloed, A Faith to Live By, 277)
The Resurrection Body will be Spiritual
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:44)
You say, “What in the world is a spiritual body? If it’s spiritual, how can it be a body?” A spiritual body is a body that is completely responsive to your glorified spirit. Alec Motyer says:
The Christian’s present experience… is that the body militates against living the godly life. There is a downward drag in our bodily members, so that frequently our best intentions and ideals are destroyed by the inability and rebellion of the body.
How marvelous then is the promise of a body which will respond automatically to the promptings of God, and will be the perfect vehicle for the expression of the new nature. (J. A Motyer, After Death, 86)
Understand, whatever gifts God gives us in the material world are only a shadow of what is to come.