Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Question #51

In Lk 24:36-39 and in Jn 20:26-27, Jesus showed his disciples the wounds in his body as proof of his resurrection. If Jesus' body had been destroyed by God after he died, how could Jesus show the disciples his body which had the wounds in his hands, feet, and side and claim that he is not just a spirit, "because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have" (Lk 24:39)?

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Jesus appeared to his disciples on numerous occasions and each time he appeared differently. Usually the disciples recognized him by what he said and not by his appearance. However, because Thomas declared that he would never accept the reports of Jesus' resurrection unless he could touch the wounds Jesus materialized a body with wound marks as a way of convincing and rebuking Thomas. Jesus said that a spirit does not have flesh and bones because he wanted to assure them that he was not a vision or apparition. It was not uncommon for angels to materialize flesh, in which case a materialized angel has substance - flesh and bone.

But, that Christ was actually resurrected as a spirt is made plain in the writings of the apostles, namely Peter and Paul, who both wrote that Jesus was resurrected as a life-giving spirit. Besides, Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman very plainly, that "God is a spirit." And, as Paul later explained to the Philippians, prior to his coming to earth Jesus existed in God's form. In other words, he was a spirit too. The last night of his life as a man Jesus asked his Father to glorify him with the glory that he previously had alongside Jehovah in heaven. That is to say, Jesus asked to go back home to the spirit dimension.

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