I attended a Funeral Practicum last night at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. It was by far the class where I have learned the most practical pastoral care lessons in my 18 months at Seminary. But it drove me to do some major studying on the concept we speak every Sunday during the Apostles Creed when we say”I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body”.
But do we truly understand what that means?
The Scriptures teach-I believe-that we will not only recognize each other in heaven but we will have the same body. Jesus’s own body was raised from the dead not just his spirit according to Scripture. It is important to remember after Jesus’s Resurrection and before the Assumption he still had the same marks on his body that he did prior to his death. Read Jesus’ words in John 5:28-29, 6:39-40, 11:25-26, and Luke 14:14. Also see Paul in 1 Cor 15:12. Paul says, “Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” So according to Scripture, yes it will be the same-but glorified-body if you believe-as I do-in a literal translation of Resurrection of the Body as is said in the Apostles Creed and spoken by Jesus and Paul. Also of note I agree with N.T. Wright (and one of my professors) that there is no seperation between the body and the soul; that they are one entity and cannot be seperated. That an idea of a two-nature body is a remnant of neo-Platanism and is incongruent with the witness of Scripture.
Here is a factoid I discovered:
Most Conservative and Orthodox Jews do not even embalm the body for many reasons including the blood being the location of life ergo you must keep it with the body.