A third thing we learn from 1 Corinthians 15 is that our resurrection bodies will be like Christ's. Paul compared the natural, earthly body of the first man, Adam, with the spiritual, heavenly body of the last Adam, who is Christ. Paul said that we, who are believers in Jesus, will bear the likeness of Christ, just as we have borne the likeness of Adam. Therefore, if we want to know what our resurrection bodies will be like, then we must look to Jesus.
Jesus' resurrection body could be touched. (John 20:17) He was recognizable as the same Jesus who walked the shores of Galilee with his disciples. (John 21:12) In his resurrection body, Jesus was able to eat. (Luke 24:42-43) Jesus' resurrection body was similar to our earthly bodies in these ways, yet it was also different. Jesus was able to appear, vanish, and move unseen from one location to another. (Luke 24:31, 36)
E. Stanley Jones once told the story of a layman, a newspaper man, who was called upon to conduct the funeral of a mutual friend. Being a precise man, he wanted to do the funeral properly, in the best Christian tradition. Therefore, he turned to the New Testament to see how Jesus conducted funerals. However, he found that Jesus did not conduct any funerals at all; he only dealt with resurrections.
Isn't that great? Jesus only deals in resurrections. One day he will give us glorious, new bodies like his own.
When will this take place? As we have already seen in our study of The Apostles' Creed, we will receive our resurrection bodies at Jesus' Second Coming. Paul says, "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."
I have heard that there is a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, which has huge slabs of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection. Yet, strangely, she directed in her will that her grave should be made secure so that if there was a resurrection, it would not reach her. On the marker are inscribed these words: "This burial place must never be opened."
However, in time, a seed, began to grow under the slabs of that grave. Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath the slabs. That seed became a tree and as the trunk enlarged, the great slabs of that grave were shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. The dynamic life force contained in that little seed is a faint reflection of the tremendous power of God's creative word that will call to life the bodies of all who are in their graves on the day when Christ returns.