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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spirituality: The Resurrection of Jesus

The Christian view of Resurrection

Jesus had a bodily resurrection. He was physical, yet he was capable of walking through walls. If the gospel writers were trying to fabricate a purely physical Jesus, they would not have written about him in this way. If they were describing a spiritual or docetic Jesus, they would not have had him eating fish, or being touched. ‘See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them. (Luke 24:39-43)

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ (John 20:26-27)

It was well known in 1st century Jewish culture that ghosts or apparitions could not eat; Luke is going out of his way to show that Jesus is not a ghost. In Johnʼs passage, John makes the point that Jesus could appear anywhere without the natural limitations of doors. However, he also makes it clear to Thomas and the rest of the disciples that he is made of flesh and bone, and even scars..

Paul's discussion of resurrection: the Greek for spiritual body in this case - soma pneumatikon - a body animated by the spirit of God and the soma psychikon - a body animated by the human soul are two different, yet physical entities. The resurrection body will be sown incorruptible, animated by the life of God and will not break down and wither like our current bodies.

“...what is meant by resurrection in reference to Easter is not the simple return of a corpse to ordinary life; nor is it the escape of Jesus’ soul from the body as it was for Socrates. Built into the very definition of resurrection is a prophetic expectation of Israel’s Messiah, the coming of the kingdom of God, and the rising of the dead into the new creation.”


  1. Thank you for this excellent explanation. With your permission, I would find this useful for the RCIA folks.

    1. Permission granted. I'm glad it is helpful. We don't wrestle enough with the concept or reality of Resurrection. We take it for granted like it was something commonplace.