What do we know of Christ’s resurrection body?

Posted: February 26, 2022 in Christian

This may be a given to most, but I believe we can draw some fairly decent basic conclusions of Christ’s resurrection body from the scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. To attempt to keep this post short enough to not bore you to tears, I’m only going to cover a couple of examples to highlight the conclusions we can draw.

Right off the bat when I started researching from the first appearance to Mary Magdalene, I realized it isn’t as clear cut and straight forward as I assumed it would when I thought up this brief excursion. Why? Let’s look at this first appearance we find in Mark’s account in Mark 16:9 Now when [Jesus] was risen early the first [day] of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. (KJV) This seems simple enough, but we need to develop the context so when we read on a couple of more verses, we find this in Mark 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. (KJV) What? What in the world does the word form in this sentence mean? In the Greek it means what we expect it to mean, the external appearance of something. So we can conclude that he appeared looking one way to Mary Magdalene and looking quite different to the others. John sheds some light on this in his gospel account that we read in John 20:16-17 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God. (KJV) So it seems that when she first saw him he had just arisen and was still in the same human form as he was when he was laid in the sepulcher. Apparently between this visage and subsequent ones, he ascended and then returned in the form that he was seen afterward. Also on this first encounter by Mary Magdalene, a couple of verses earlier, in John 20:15 we are told she didn’t recognize him and thought he was the gardener. Why?

Let us look at beards. In I Chronicles chapter 19, as in many other places in the Old Testament, we find it was shameful for a Jewish male to be shaved. In Isaiah 50:6 we get a glimpse of one of the ways that Our Lord was tortured, because apparently they ripped out his beard. So, perhaps when she saw this beardless man her automatic and natural assumption would have been that this guy wasn’t a Jewish male, but rather a gentile, and likely a slave, instead of Our Savior.

Later on we find that He challenged Thomas to touch Him in John chapter 20 and also we read in Luke 24 that Christ walked and talked for seven miles and afterward dined with a couple of the disciple before he pulled a disappearing trick and vanished. I believe if he had been some floating, spectral being that we refer to as ghost, gliding along with them on on the road, they would have figured out something was very strangely wrong about this man (“Hey, why can we see through this guy, why isn’t his feet touching the ground as he moves?”). This one instance by itself is fairly definitive of the fact that He was flesh and blood…only he was flesh and blood that could vanish and move through walls which is a super indication that Christ had definitely changed form as we read in Mark 16:12.

Which segways my thoughts to a very cool verse that speaks volumes in I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (KJV)

Wow. We have seen in the gospels where Christ appeared before hundreds of people after His crucifixion. We have read where He taught, where He walked and talked, where He dined and met with followers and where He disappeared into thin air and materialized into a locked room to meet with His disciples. We already know he was the I AM of the burning bush and was The Angel of The Lord in several encounters in the Old Testament. Scientific discoveries, coupled with an expansion of understanding of mathematical principles, of the last two centuries have increased our knowledge of our physical universe. Part of that scientific discovery was the expansion of the understanding of dimensionality and the development of new theories, such as the string theory*1. So what?

The more we as humans, in our endeavors to elevate our understanding of our universe, the more we find that these expansions of knowledge assist in demonstrating the hidden gems of the scriptures. Our expansion of understanding that we live in a multidimensional universe helps to explain how Our Lord could just seem to appear and disappear at will all through the bible. This multidimensional was hinted at by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians*2 when he wrote that we live in a four dimensional universe a few hundred years before Euclid ‘discovered’ the fact. John also tells us that they weren’t seeing the full representation of Christ after He had changed form, but only what our two dimensional eyes*3 could perceive of Him. John was explaining to them that was the reason Christ could seem to disappear and appear at will…because he existed in a higher dimension than we can view or really understand. Some don’t care about this, but I find it fascinating when we are able to peer a little deeper behind the curtain and discover more gems of information that do nothing but solidify more and more the proof that the scriptures are divine in nature and infinite in scope.

God Bless, Jim

*1 http://www.examiner.com/christian-worldview-in-national/quantum-mechanics-string-theories-black-holes-and-the-bible

*2 Ephesians 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (KJV)

*3 Each of our eyes only resolves objects in two dimensions, width and height, and the stereoscopic effect of both of our eyes working in conjunction make it appear we see in three dimensions, but we actually don’t…sorry.

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