Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about Christ’s resurrection is the foundational doctrine of the Christianity. He was murdered. He was buried. He rose again. But, what really happened when the stone rolled away from the mouth of that Israeli cave, and out stepped the founder of the Christian church? Controversy has always surrounded the event – and theories pile upon theories.
What do you think about the issue? Was it real? Was it only a hallucination of the disciples? Was it a spiritual apparition? Was it an invention by later church leaders? Was the wrong guy put in the tomb? Was no one put in the tomb to begin with? Did the disciples just make up the story? Did they rob the body?
Or was Christ’s resurrection an authentic event that happened just like the Bible says? As usual, I take the viewpoint of the Holy Scripture, and simply develop what it says at face value – even though I don’t understand everything. Let’s look. Four things: it was genuine, identifiable, glorified, and the first of many to follow. Wow!
A Genuine Body
The biblical evidence reveals that Christ’s body was genuine. The nail prints and wounded side on His touchable body clearly points to a real body (Luke 24:39, 40; John 20:20, 27).
The Bible discloses that His body was flesh and bones (Luke 24:39, 40). Even the women held him by His feet (Matthew 28:9). King David predicted Christ’s body would not see corruption (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:3). It sounds like Christ had a genuine resurrection body. But there is more.
The tomb was empty, yet the grave-clothes remained (Mark 16:6; John 20:5-7), and Christ even ate food in the presence of His disciples (Luke 24:41-45). It gets more convincing – and rather startling!
Christ predicted He would rise bodily (John 2:19-21; Matthew 12:40), and the angels at the tomb said He had risen as He predicted (Luke 24:6-8). Furthermore, His body was recognized as the same body as went into the grave (John 20:27). Evidently, those marks of His crucifixion will be seen at His second coming (Cf. Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 20:25-29; Luke 24:41-43; 24:39, 40).
Finally, there are many verses that would be meaningless if His resurrection was simply a spiritual apparition of some sort (cf. John 5:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Ephesians 1:19, 20).
An Identifiable Body
The Bible teaching about Christ's coming to life again divulges the fact that His body was identifiable. He was recognized by His voice (John 20:16), and by His manner of breaking bread (Luke 24:13-35). His nail prints were recognized (John 20:25, 27, 28; 21:7; cf. Luke 24:41-43; John 20:16, 20; 21:7).
For example, He appeared to Mary Magdalene who exclaimed, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18). Doubting Thomas, stunned by His appearance, gasped, “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28).
At the Sea of Tiberias, when the disciples were fishing, and saw Jesus on the beach, John cried out, “It is the Lord” (John 21:7)! Later in the chapter, Peter and Jesus had an extensive conversation – and Peter knew who he was talking to.
At His ascension into heaven, Jesus called His disciples together for a final commissioning service. They said, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) They knew who He was. Even the disciples on the road to Emmaus recognized Jesus (Luke 24:31—35).
Any reasonable mind, based on this evidence, would conclude Christ had a genuine, real body, and was unmistakably recognized by others – actually, by more that 500 people over a period of 40 days between His resurrection and ascension (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:3). That is remarkable, don’t you think?
A Glorified Body
Here is where things take a different twist. Christ’s body possessed some new qualities. He could walk through closed doors, and could appear and disappear right before people’s eyes (Luke 24:15, 36; John 20:19). He appeared at God’s right hand in heaven (Acts 7:56: 9:3-6). This was not a slight of hand stunt – it was the real thing!
Christ, in His resurrected body, is now alive forevermore (Romans 6:9, 10; 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 1:18). To put this in contrast, there were bodily resurrections of others in the Bible, but they were temporary and ended back up in death (cf. 1 Kings 17:17-24; Mark 5:22-43; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:43, 44; Acts 9:37, 40, 41). They did not have a permanent indestructible body such as Jesus Christ.
First of Many to Follow
Here is where the Bible teaching about this subject gets truly down to earth and personal. It impacts you and me directly, permanently, and wonderfully. Paul relates, “He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18).
Think of it. If Christ is the first born, then there will be many more to follow – a second, third, and multitudes! If you are a Christian, then that includes you!
He set the pattern for a new order of beings. Speaking of Christians, Paul recorded “He also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
Our Glorified Body
As the first one to receive a glorified body, He is referred to as the first fruit of a large wave of many other that will follow later.
Paul writes, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
Paul drills the concept home when He says that when Christ returns, He will, “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Philippians 3:21; cf. 1 John 3:2).
What can we conclude? You and I will come back from the dead (John 5:28, 29). Those in Christ will have their bodies transformed into a body with the same qualities as Christ. That raises many possibilities for outlandish speculation – but it is true, nonetheless.
By the way, it is a resurrection, not a recreation. That is, your body that goes into the coffin is the same body that will come out on resurrection day. It is just like Jesus.
This is Important
Is all this important? Of course it is. Paul asserted that if Christ’s resurrection did not happen, then our resurrection will not happen, and our faith is worthless – and we are left without any hope (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
With this most important doctrine presented to you, Esmie and I wish for you to revel in the incredible hope held out for you. To find how to become a Christian, and be assured of your future extreme makeover, click here. (link)
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What are your thoughts about Christ’s resurrection?
2. What are your thoughts about your own resurrection?
3. Do you think those resurrected after Christ are in their changed bodies (Matthew 27:52, 53)?
4. What was the plot to cover up Christ’s resurrection (Matthew 28:11-15)?
5. Do you think the disciples did steal Jesus’ body from the tomb? Based on biblical evidence, explain your position.
6. If Christ did not rise from the dead, what is the end for us (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)?
7. What do you think is the best evidence for Christ’s resurrection? Explain.
8. What practical effect should His resurrection have on believers (1 Corinthians 15:57, 58; Titus 2:11-15)?
9. Do you believe in an afterlife? Why or why not? Are you a Christian?
10. What stands out to you the most in this Bible study?
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