Posts Tagged ‘Resurrection’

We can draw some fairly decent basic conclusions of Christ’s resurrection body from the scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. There several detailed examples of recorded visits where Christ appeared before, walked with, and visited and dined with his followers during the interval after His resurrection and before His ascension. 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 be a few sentences ago. 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 in chapter 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.

God Bless, Jim

8-7-11

for Koinonia Institute

If you asked a hundred Christians in the conservative, ‘bible-belt’ section of America where I live the question, “Why was Christ crucified?”, almost all of them would say, “He died for our sins.” and leave it at that. That would not be an incorrect answer, just an incomplete one, for I need to know why He had to die for our sins. I am going to attempt to explore that question and try to do it justice.

The key word to the short answer is ‘sin’. What is sin? According to blue letter bible, sin is a transgression or violation of divine law (God’s law) as is defined below.

a. Its origin, as regards the human race. The first man and woman, by their own choice, violated the law of God; they sinned against God.

b. Words, which describe sin in some of its forms. Hebrew: “Chata,” to go out of the way, to miss the mark. “Pasha,” to transgress. “Avah,” to twist, to act perversely. Greek: “Hamaritia,” a missing of the mark. “Paraptoma,” a falling away from law, truth, right. “Parabasis,” a going over or beyond truth and right, transgression. “Anomia,” lawlessness. “Asebeia,” irreverence.

c. Definition. “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.”


Regardless which definition we apply to ourselves, the trait of free will and gullibility within human beings condemn us to sin. Genesis 1:27-31 tells us that God created man in His own image and blessed him and gave him dominion over the Earth and was pleased with the results. Since humans were created in His image, and humans sin, does that mean God is sinful in nature, because we sure are? No, of course not. When God created Adam there was no sin. Unfortunately for us, there was a wrench thrown into the works called Satan and Romans 5:12 tell us Adam fell because Satan was allowed to introduced sin into the world, via Adam. I can infer just from the book of Job, using the patterns that are prevalent all through the bible, that Satan kind of goaded God into this competition with us as the pawns and our souls as the prize. I was going to go a different direction with this, but I suddenly am compelled to explore the path of the Trinity and creation…


For some reason, I always had difficulty remembering that sometimes ‘God’ can refer to the Trinity, or can refer to God the Father or can refer to God the Son. John in chapter 1 of his gospel says that God the Son is the author of creation and that Christ created the universe and all things in it, including us. That means we are created in Christ’s image (how cool is that). It also means that Adam is a direct creation of Christ, even though it apparently was a collaborative effort (the plural verbiage denoting the Trinity in Genesis 3:22). Satan, however was able to deceive Adam through Eve and he was successful in generating doubt and confusion in what God (Christ) had commanded, causing them to sin by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why was this one tree, that they were told not to eat from, placed within the perfect garden of Eden? I think we can derive from the patterns we see in Job, it was there as a test and a temptation, much like the events within the book of Job were. Where am I going with all this?


This is partially conjecture on my part, but I think Christ created Adam in His own image as a sinless person that had no conception of good and evil. Satan presents a challenge and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is introduced into the midst of this perfect garden. It doesn’t take long for Satan to begin his deception campaign by beguiling Eve into sinning by transgressing the commandment of God (Christ) and eating of this lone tree and then convincing her husband to do the same. This means that Adam, a direct creation of Christ, and created in the image of Christ, falls by sinning. In response Our Lord performed the opening gambit in the competition for our souls, exhibited by a string of prophecies, that leads eventually toward a checkmate against his wily opponent, Satan*1. How was this brilliant maneuver performed?


Christ introduced the prophecy concerning the plans to ultimately defeat Satan by the parabolic announcement of Himself becoming human in
Genesis 3:15*2 and taking over the role that Adam failed at through the miracle of the virgin birth of Himself as a man. While Christ will not sin like Adam (remember Christ’s temptations by Satan from Mark chapter 1 which basically is a parallel of the temptations of Adam and Eve by Satan, which they failed), He will take upon the sin that His direct creation, Adam, introduced into the world and then willingly die for our salvation upon the cross while wearing this cloak of sin and transgression, relieving us of this unbearable burden and beginning the ‘end game’ process of sealing the lid on the ultimate defeat of Satan. I believe Christ, from the beginning, arranged His own crucifixion to pay the debt of sin that Adam started, thus soundly tromping Satan.


I can see the scenario where we and our universe were created with the intention of Christ being our creator and ruler, possibly in Eden which was in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Satan, by being allowed to introduce sin into the world*3, only delayed the inevitable end result where Christ becomes the ruler of all nations in the end and, just possibly, bring Eden back to it’s glory, as it was in the beginning.


God Bless

Jim

8-5-11

for Koinonia Institute

*1 Those familiar with chess will know that a game can be won or lost in the first move that, if played right, can set up a domino effect type of scenario that may not manifest itself until scores of moves have been played, resulting in a checkmate.

*2 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (RSV)

*3 Satan made all those “I will” statements in Isaiah 14, maybe God has allowed everything to go on to prove that Satan’s “I will” statements are actually “I am only delusional and that I can’t” statements…