What does the Bible say a spiritual body will be like in heaven? When people go to heaven, do they look the same or similar to what they looked like on earth?
The Bible never explains what our body will look like when a believer in Jesus Christ gets to heaven. But we can draw some interesting conclusions from Jesus’s body after His return to life.
He Was Different. First, the gospels indicate that after Jesus returned to life after His death, He looked different. Mary Magdalene and His own disciples did not recognize Him when they first saw Him. Mary was the first one who did not recognize Jesus.
When she had said this, she turned around, and beheld Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener . . . (NASB) John 20:14-15
The passage makes it clear that Mary thought Jesus was a gardner. She did not recognize Jesus after His return to life. We are not told what He looked like. Unlike other religious books there is no exploitation of this event. He is not described as having glowing hair, being semi-transparent, or standing taller. The gospel writers were brief and to the point with their information. The events are not sensationalized.
Some of Jesus’ disciples did not recognize Him on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35), nor did the eleven disciples recognize Him when He just appeared in a locked room (John 20:19-20).
And while they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst. But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” (NASB) Luke 24:36-39
The disciples thought that they had seen a spirit. Again this tells us that He looked different. His new body was different. What will our body look like? Something like Jesus’ new body. Yet, it will be like our old one in some ways.
He Could Eat. While Jesus looked different in some ways He was able to eat food.
And while they still could not believe it for joy and were marveling, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them. (NASB) Luke 24:41-43
According to Acts 10:41 Jesus also drank liquids with His disciples. Jesus was able to walk, talk, see, and hear. Jesus was different in some ways. But the best news was that Jesus had a immortal, eternal body.
The gospel of Mark says that Jesus appeared in a different form (Mark 16:12). It is reasonable to conclude that our bodies will be very much like Jesus’ resurrected body. We may look different too! Yet, we will able to see, hear, speak, talk, eat, and drink. I do not believe that God will give us bodies with these capabilities if we were not going to be able to do these things. Heaven is going to be fun!