Christians, be courageous and do not invent a hope not in the Bible. The Christian hope is the redemption of the body (Rom 8:22–24). The Bible reveals repeatedly that Jesus will return and resurrect those who are dead as Jesus rose from the dead (Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 6:14; 15:20–23). Resurrection from the Greek word anastasia means bodily rising from death to life again. Paul revealed that to deny the resurrection of the dead is to deny the resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:12–19).
Today, believers often deny the resurrection by believing in a bodiless eternal life. When a person dies, the spirit separates from the body (Jas 2:26). However, this is not the eternal state the faithful. Pagan philosophers including Platonists, Stoics, and Epicureans had various views of a bodiless afterlife looking forward to an existence without the natural body. Pagans believed that some would receive celestial or ghostly bodies. Some believers in Christ today have concluded that they will have spirit bodies, because the Bible says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 15:50). However, the Greco-Roman world believed the same that people would have ghostly spirit bodies. Paul addressed the grievous error that many believers were denying bodily resurrection for eternal life that denied Jesus’s resurrection as the first of the resurrection. Some would ask about the resurrection, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” (1 Cor 15:35).
The answer is not that the faithful will resurrect to ghostly spirit bodies, rise to natural bodies that decay, or live in a bodiless bliss. By the resurrection of Christ, the natural body must change and become spiritual and heavenly in nature to inherit eternal life (1 Cor 15:42–49). The “flesh and blood” body is mortal and must put on immortality to inherit the kingdom of God when Jesus returns (1 Cor 15:51–52). Paul revealed, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Cor 15:53). Jesus resurrected “flesh and bone” with glory and power having put immortality on His once mortal body (Luke 24:39; Col 2:9). Likewise, the bodies of the faithful will resurrect “flesh and blood” and put on immortality. The faithful will not put off their natural bodies but the natural bodies will change and “be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor 5:4).
The Christian hope is in a bodily resurrection to eternal life on the last day (John 6:40). This is the redemption of the body (Rom 8:23–24). This is why Jesus resurrected from the dead. He is the firstfruits of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:20–23).