The bible holds out the great and glorious hope of a resurrection for us all. But what will the resurrected body be like. Theologian Harry Blamires offers the helpful illustration of the butterfly. As the caterpillar is to the butterfly, so our present body is to the resurrected body. There is continuity but there is also difference. Just as the caterpillar’s body is suited to the realm of the ground, and the butterfly’s to flight through the air, so our present bodies may be suited to this world of sin, but our resurrected bodies will be suited to the life of the Spirit, in a world that is eternal and without limit. And just as it would be difficult for even an intelligent caterpillar to imagine what life would be like as a butterfly, so we struggle to imagine the resurrection life.
Finally, it may be helpful to remember that when we think of the caterpillar we think of its life in terms of its becoming a butterfly. We define its present existence by its future. So too, our present existence is defined by the future God has for us.
Source: based on Harry Balmires, “The Eternal Weight of Glory” Christianity Today, May 22, 1991