Recently, while reading through the gospel of John in The C. S. Lewis Bible, I was reminded of an important and powerful reflection of Lewis's on the resurrection, from his book Miracles:
The Resurrection was not regarded simply or chiefly as evidence for the immortality of the soul. It is, of course, often so regarded today: I have heard a man maintain that "the importance of the Resurrection is that it proves survival." Such a view cannot at any point be reconciled with the language of the New Testament. On such a view Christ would simply have done what all men do when they die: the only novelty would have been that in His case we were allowed to see it happening. But there is not in Scripture the faintest suggestion that the Resurrection was new evidence for something that had in fact been always happening. The New Testament writers speak as if Christ's achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the "first fruits," the "pioneer of life." He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened.
Here the citation in the CSL Bible ends; in the book, Lewis goes on: "What the apostles thought they had seen was... the first movement of a great wheel beginning to turn in the direction opposite to that which all men hitherto had observed." The Resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the great work of reversal that is God's new creation: streams break forth in the desert, the hungry are filled with good things, the wolf and the lamb graze together, and the earth gives birth to the dead. Everything is different now.
This biblical picture of hope is not the gospel of souls floating up to heaven to be with God, but of God making things right in the creation that has been invaded by the powers of sin and death. This is a gospel about healing the world--including our human bodies--not abandoning it.
To me, this is a much richer and more compelling picture of God's saving work than you get with this idea of a disembodied eternity with God in heaven. Of course it also has the added advantage of being the biblical and traditional Christian vision of God's plans for his people and his world.