After Death - Appendix 3

Resurrection of the Body

Resurrection of Christ

A person is identified with his body. So with Christ it is said: "There... they laid Jesus" (John 19:42), although at that time his spirit had left his body (John 19:30). When Jesus rose from the dead he was seen near the tomb by Mary. His grave clothes were left behind in the tomb, though he was clearly dressed when Mary saw him in the garden, otherwise she would not have mistaken him for the gardener. The body in which he rose from the dead was one of flesh and bones and was the same as that in which he died, else why should the print of the nails and the hole in his side have been there ? One cannot conceive that they would have been faked. Far be the thought (See John 20). Then we know that Christ ate in the presence of his disciples after he had risen from the dead (Luke 24:41-43). However, his body was a body of flesh and bones; not one of flesh and blood, for his blood had been poured out (Luke 24:39; John 19:34). Further we know that he could appear in the presence of his disciples though the doors of the room were shut in which they were (John 20:19). However it may be said that Christ could, had he wished to do so, have done similar things before his death, for we are told that he passed through the midst of those who would have killed him (Luke 4:28-31).(See also John 8:59).

There are at least three reasons for what we have drawn attention to above as follows:-

1. Scripture is demonstrating that the one who died on the cross and was laid in the tomb was the same one that appeared in a flesh and bones condition. He had the marks of the nails and the hole where the sword had pierced his side. There was no possibility that the one who the disciples saw in resurrection was a double of Jesus. It was the same body that went into the tomb that came out of the tomb as Christ said: "It is
I myself" (Luke 24:39)

2. The one that the disciples saw was not a ghost as Christ said: " A spirit has not flesh and bones as ye see me having" (Luke 24:39).

3. Although it was the same Jesus that came out of the tomb that was laid in it, it is clear that Christ was in a new condition. He was no longer in a flesh and
blood condition. He had been the victim. His blood had been shed and he was never going to return to the condition he had been in before his death. He now had "indissoluble life" (Hebrews 7:16).

The question has been raised as to whether Christ will always have the marks of his sufferings in his body. In Revelation 1:7 it is said: "Every eye shall see him, and they which have pierced him". This would suggest that the persons who had pierced him would see the marks resulting from their actions, though it does not actually say so. However, Christ may not always have the same form. On the mount in the Gospel he was transfigured and this included his garments (Matthew 17:2). Further, he appeared to two of his disciples when they went to Emmaus but they did not recognise him until he broke bread (Luke 24:13-35). In Mark 16:12 it is said that this manifestation was in another form. It does not appear that the form in which Christ appeared to his disciples after his resurrection was a body of glory. That would rather be the form in which he was seen on the mount of transfiguration. We shall have bodies like his glorious body (Philippians 3:20/21; 1 John 3:2). Now we are in bodies of humiliation. All this would lead us to be careful and not jump to the conclusion that our future bodies will be like the body in which Christ appeared to his disciples. The passage in 1 John already quoted tells us that what we shall be has not yet been manifested, but we do know that we shall be like Christ.

The Second Resurrection

We are not told a lot about this. Scripture just speaks about the first resurrection (implying there is at least a second one). It also states that the rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years had been completed (Revelation 20:5). The fact that the rest of the dead are said to live makes it clear that they do not remain dead, even though it is said that the 'dead' stood before the throne. However this is no doubt to make it clear that those being spoken about are the ones who have died and are now raised and