Jesus’ ascension to heaven in his human body has made many Christians wonder if that is how he looks in heaven or if he assumed another, more heavenly body. The transfiguration scene also revealed Jesus’ glorious body, making many people wonder, ‘What does Jesus look like in heaven?’
From the scriptures in John 20:27, we can conclude that Jesus ascended to heaven in his human body, which is what his appearance is in heaven; however, the body is different from the human body since it is imperishable, glorious, and has better splendor and power. 1 Corinthians 15:49 implies that we will have the image of the heavenly man when we go to heaven. Jesus is defined as the “heavenly man” because his body looks like that of a man.
How is the Transfiguration important in telling what Jesus looks like in heaven? Is the Transfiguration a glimpse of what Jesus looks like in heaven? Will Jesus have crucifixion scars in heaven? Get answers to these and more questions as you read on.
Is the Transfiguration a glimpse of what Jesus looks like in heaven?
The Transfiguration is one of the most extraordinary moments of Jesus’ time on earth. Many elements of the Transfiguration make it valid to sum it up as a glimpse of heaven on earth. Matthew 17:2–3, “And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.” This verse implies the glorious body of Christ, which was shown to a few of his disciples.
Many theologians believe that this is how Jesus appears in heaven, still in his human body but elevated in heavenly glory. The appearance of Moses and Elijah during this event backs up these assumptions since they are the two people in the Bible who can be associated with seeing the glory of heaven.
Exodus 33:11: “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend…”
2 Kings 2:11, “And as they went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
The Bible speculates that Moses spoke to God face-to-face, while Elijah never died but went to heaven directly. This makes their presence during the Transfiguration a significant glimpse of what Jesus looks like in heaven. The voice of God was also heard, as suggested in John 9:35. The ambiance during the Transfiguration was heavenly, and it would only seem right that Jesus assumed his heavenly body as he talked to Moses and Elijah.
Scholars who say that the appearance of Jesus during the Transfiguration is how he looks in heaven are also convinced of this because, before his ascension, Jesus told his disciples to touch him and see that he was not a spirit, as implied in Luke 24:39. Because the Transfiguration was Jesus’ only time changing appearance. He did so in front of people who were presumably in heaven, it could be a glimpse of what he looks like in heaven.
How is the Transfiguration important in telling what Jesus looks like in heaven?
Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, he was born of man and had a human body. Being a son of man meant living among men and eventually bringing salvation to mankind. The presence of Elijah and Moses during the Transfiguration provides a basis for comparing how much of Jesus’ glory was heavenly rather than earthly. Exodus 34:29–35 implies that whenever Moses went up the mountain to speak to God, his face shone when he came back. And it was so bright that he had to wear a veil when talking to the Israelites. In the case of Moses, the bright shine reflected light that most scholars speculate was from God’s glory.
During the Transfiguration, Jesus’ face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light, so much so that his disciples fell on their faces in terror (Matthew 17:1–8). This means that the glory was like that of God and not a reflection, as it was with Moses.
Exodus 33:22–23: “And while my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
According to the Bible, Moses saw God in His true self and glory. Moses saw what God looked like in heaven, even though it was just a partial view. Since the scene of Moses seeing God closely resembles the Transfiguration, the appearance of Jesus then tells how He looks in heaven. The Transfiguration was a look behind the veil at the glory of Jesus that had been hidden throughout his ministry on earth.
Many scholars argue that the Transfiguration was not a show of the full glory of Jesus but a mere fraction of his full glory. John 17:5, “And now, father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed.” This implies that Jesus shares in God’s glory, and the Transfiguration merely hints at what he looks like in heaven.
Will Jesus have his crucifixion scars in heaven?
Many Christians usually believe that as they sin, the wounds of Jesus bleed, and He is then reminded of the pain he went through to bring them to salvation while they keep living in sin. Though this statement is an assumption, many theologians strongly believe that Jesus still has his crucifixion scars. After Jesus’ resurrection, he still had his scars. John 20:27, “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side, do not disbelieve but believe.”
Jesus proved to Thomas that it was him by showing him his scars. He still had his scars when he ascended to heaven. And at the time, he had already beaten death and was in a post-resurrection body. Many Christians believe this is Christ’s glorified body in heaven, complete with crucifixion scars.
Scholars have concluded that Jesus will have his scars in heaven to show that he knows our pain, that he has lived as we do on earth, and that he sympathizes with us, as suggested in Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who does not sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus still has his crucifixion scars to show us that he won over death, and we share in his triumph since we will rise in his second coming. Through the scars, we know that our final victory is in him, and they represent the love God has for us, as speculated in John 3:16.
How does John describe the appearance of Jesus in the book of Revelation?
When John was in Patmos, he heard a voice telling him to write down what he saw and send the writing to the seven churches. When he turned in the direction of the voice, he saw Jesus in a vision.
Revelation 1:12-16, “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs on his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like a roar of many waters. In his right hand, he held seven stars; from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full length.”
The appearance of Jesus, as described by John, is very vivid and symbolic. The seven golden lampstands represent the seven churches to which John was to send his written visions, and Jesus standing amid the lambs shows that he is bringing light to the churches. Outside of the symbolism, Jesus’ glory is seen to be more elevated than it was during the Transfiguration. John describes Jesus’ face as shining like the sun at full length, and his eyes are like a warm flame.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.