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The First One There

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

—1 Corinthians 15:20

A question I’m often asked about Heaven is whether we will recognize each other.

While I can’t cite any Scripture passage that absolutely guarantees we will recognize one another in Heaven, it’s my belief that we will.

There are Scripture passages that would seem to point to that. When Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus during His transfiguration, they were recognizable to Peter. He was able to look at them and somehow know they were Moses and Elijah.

It’s also interesting that after Jesus’ resurrection, when He appeared to the disciples on the Emmaus road and walked and talked with them, they didn’t realize that it was indeed Him until their eyes were opened. Therefore, Jesus was recognizable but not immediately recognizable. He bore in His body the marks of the crucifixion. This gives us a picture of a resurrection body that is similar to the old earthly body but is different at the same time.

We’re also told in 1 Corinthians 13, “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (verse 12). We’ll have a new knowledge and understanding that wasn’t possible before.

The Bible says that Christ has become “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). He was the first one there, so to speak. Considering the resurrection body of Jesus, I think we’re given a broad outline of what our bodies will be like. The Scriptures say, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). I think our resurrected bodies will be somewhat similar to our earthly bodies.

To live forever in this body would be a curse. But to live forever in a new body in the presence of God—that will be a blessing.


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