Recognition in heaven? - part 2

by André Piet
January 16th, 2013

In my previous blog, I argued that the Bible gives no reason to think that in the new creation, our memories are erased.

Someone wrote me in response to this blog:

I only hope that in heaven we will look a lot different than here on earth! I really do not want to have the same appearance in my glorified body as what I have now! (it would not look glorified). And I'm sure I'm not alone in that desire!

That desire will certainly be completely fulfilled! For, as the old body is a "dishonour," so will the body in the resurrection be "glorious" (1Cor.15:43). That means at least that dissatisfaction with our appearance will then be completely belong to the past.

Someone else responded with the question of how one can speak of recognition, if then we will see "what no eye has ever seen before" (1Cor.2:9)? Did Paul also not write about bodies that will differ as a ear of corn differs from a kernel of grain (1 Cor.15:37)? Who can recognize in a butterfly the caterpillar of before?

Indeed, the difference shall be such that we will with great surprise behold the body that will have undergone a complete metamorphosis (cf Luke 24:41). It will be a surprise which presupposes that we will have knowledge of how it once was. However, it is not only that the body will be different; there will also be continuity. The body will exhibit, after its transformation, also similarities with the former body. We see it in Jesus Christ, the Firstfruit, Who arose imperishable, beyond the reach of death. He appeared to His disciples for forty days on many occasions, but always there was the (mutual) recognition (Luke 24:31). Sometimes the voice alone was sufficient to evoke recognition (John 20:16). This recognition is even associated with Jesus' hands and feet, that recall His suffering (Luke 24:40). When He, in the future, will appear before the eyes of Israel, they will see Him Whom they have pierced (Rev.1:7). But these are not wounds by which He, in His resurrection, will be recognized, but scars. These are signs that recall His suffering, but in His resurrection body, they emphasize His glory!

The universal, Biblical principle is that the path to glory passes through sufferings (Luke 24:26; Rom.8:18; Heb.2:10). The sufferings of the present time are an indispensable ingredient of the future glory. So we also see in it, that with GOD never anything happens in vain.

Short and to the point: GOD will not wipe away our memory, but our tears!


Translation: Peter Feddema

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