What is the spiritual body?


You wrote that Christ has risen in a spiritual body. How about the biblical passage where He told Thomas to put his finger on His wound to get convinced that Lord Jesus is not spirit, but a real material body. Would you explain this, please?

I believe this question appeared to you because you thought that by saying “a spiritual body”, I meant a body that is not material, like for instance, Jehovah’s witnesses claim that Lord Jesus came to this Earth for the second time in 1914, but His coming was in a spiritual body, not in a physical body. That’s why I am writing this article to explain what I mean by “a spiritual body” and how the Bible defines it.

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Jesus Christ resurrected in a spiritual body

1 Corinthians chapter 15 is fully dedicated to the subject of resurrection, because in Corinth some teachings appeared saying that there is no resurrection of the dead. Verse 15 starts with a question by which the apostle anticipates things and writes the following:

 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”  You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.  All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.  There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

In this text the apostle shows very clearly that our present body is completely different from the body we will receive at our resurrection. This body is called natural, the one we will receive at our resurrection is called spiritual. Some verses above it is written that as in Adam all die (meaning that our natural body dies), so also in Christ all will be made alive, but each in his own order. It is also written that Christ is the first fruit, meaning He is the first who resurrected with such a spiritual body. Let’s examine this chapter to see what qualities a spiritual body has, the body in which Christ resurrected and in which we will resurrect at His coming.

The spiritual body can be seen by those who are in the natural body

Here is a list of people who have seen Jesus Christ after His resurrection in the spiritual body, as the apostle Paul presents it:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;  and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

The one in the spiritual body can be heard by those who are still in the natural body

There are many testimonies in the Gospels. Here is one:

 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). (John 20:15-16)

The one in the spiritual body can get into a room without entering through a door

Or through other different ways as those who are in the natural body do:

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you (John 20:19)

The one in the spiritual body can be touched

By those in the natural body, as it is written:

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been [c]shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas,“Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”  (John 20:24-27)

So, the spiritual body is of a completely different quality, because it is a body of glory, it does not perish and is not subject to weaknesses that affect the natural body. At the same time, the spiritual body is a material one, it can be seen, heard, touched and it can even eat the same food as we do in our natural bodies.

I want to remind you once again that we will all resurrect, some to receive eternal rest in the Kingdom of God and some to receive eternal punishment for their unbelief and sins and eternal perdition, away from God’s presence. I pray that God helps each reader of this article to repent and follow the teachings of Lord Jesus in order to have a blessed life in the Kingdom of heaven.