Q: #425. Does Jesus have a body in Heaven right now?
A: Honestly, since the Bible does not “clearly” give us an answer to this question, we cannot know for sure. A vast majority of scholars believe that He is still in the same body He was in during the 40 days He was on Earth after His resurrection. However, His body is now a “glorified body,” as opposed to the human body He had before His resurrection (more on this below). So, why is it believed that He still has His glorified body? Let’s look at this first, then I will share a few reasons why He may not be in that glorified body now.
Most believe that Jesus is still in His glorified body because it is inferred in several Scriptures.
First, while Jesus was clearly in a body during His 40 days (with His crucifixion scars: Jn 20:20,27, Lk 24:39-40), it was different from the body He had before His resurrection. While He still looked the same, in His new, glorified body He could do such things as: instantly appear (Lk 24:36) and disappear (Lk 24:31) from sight, and pass through closed doors (Jn 20:19,26). It was in this glorified body that He arose into Heaven:
(Lk 24:50-51) And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. (51) And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
(Mk 16:19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Now, look at what (Acts 1:9-11) says: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (10) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (11) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.” (caps emphasis mine)
So, the question that must be asked is, “If Jesus went to Heaven in His glorified body, and is also returning in the same way He left (in His glorified body), does it seem likely that in-between these two events Jesus shed His glorified body?
There are also several verses which speak of the state Jesus is in right now, and these make it sound like Jesus still (presently) has a body. For example:
(Phil 3:21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
(1 Jn 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
(Col 2:9)(NASB) For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. (“dwells” sounds like now, as opposed to “dwelled”)
(1 Tim 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus. (Christ Jesus is our mediator right now, and as mediator is called “the MAN.”) (caps emphasis mine)
(Rev 1:17) John mentions that when Jesus appeared to him in a vision, he “fell at His feet,” and Jesus “laid His right hand on me.”
Now, as to why He might not be in a physical body, here are two things to consider.
#1. Jesus said that the body He was in after His resurrection was “flesh and bone” (Lk 24:39), and (1 Cor 15:50) says that, “flesh and blood” cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” The Bible seems to point pretty clearly to the fact that all who are in Heaven right now are not “flesh and bone,” but rather “spirit.” God (Jesus is God) is by nature “spirit” (Jn 4:24) and “invisible” (Col 1:15)(1 Tim 6:16)(1 Tim 1:17)(Heb 11:27). God is not “flesh and blood” (Mt 16:17), nor “flesh and bone” (Lk 24:39). Angels are also “spirit” (Heb 1:14) by nature and “invisible” (2 Kin 6:16-17)(Num 22:22-31). In fact, in Heaven right now, even people who have died are “disembodied spirits.” This being the case, would Jesus still be in His body?
***Note: There may well be a distinction between “flesh and bone” and “flesh and blood.” Perhaps “flesh and bone” could enter the “kingdom of God,” but not “flesh and blood.”
***Note: The term “disembodied spirits” is used because the moment a believer dies, his soul (Gen 35:18)(Rev 20:4) and spirit (Eccl 12:7)(Eccl 3:20-21) leave his body and go to be with the Lord. Our soul/spirit will not be reunited with our body (which will be a “glorified body’) until Jesus returns. Therefore, our soul/spirit remains in a “disembodied” (without a body) state until that time.
#2. Jesus told the disciples in (Jn 16:5-7) that it was GOOD He was going to leave, because then the Spirit would come. Why was this good? Most believe the primary reason is because Jesus could only be at one place at a time because of the physical limitations of His body. However, when the Holy Spirit would be sent, He could be everywhere at once (omnipresent), indwelling all believers. If Jesus is now in a glorified body, can He be everywhere at once (omnipresent) like the Father and Holy Spirit can? For example, when He was with the disciples after His resurrection in His glorified body, was He also everywhere else too?
I like to think that one day when I get to Heaven, I will see Jesus with those scars in His hands and feet, and have a visual reminder of the sacrifice He made for me, and His love for me. But, whether He is in that physical form, or another form, it will be AMAZING to see Him!
Why is the resurrection important?
Where did Jesus go for the 3 days between His death on the cross and His resurrection?