Some do not believe in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus. They believe that He came from the tomb as a spirit, materializing a body that ascended to heaven. Is this true? We need to let the Bible be our only guide in this matter.
In John 2:19, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days.” He was speaking of the temple of His body and predicted that He would raise up His physical body.
After the resurrection, Jesus stood in their midst and said, “ Peace be unto you.” (Luke 24:36) The disciples were terrified and supposed they had seen a spirit. “He said unto them, ‘Why are you troubled? … Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as ye see I have.’ ” (Luke 24:38, 39)
The disciples had erred in thinking that Jesus was a spirit but He corrected them.
Jesus validated His prophecy by raising His body. But if He was a spirit, then He would be lying to them in Luke 24:39. And if He didn’t raise His body, then His prophecy from John 2:21 would have failed. The Bible teaches Jesus was bodily resurrected.
Thomas declared that unless he could put his finger in the print of the nails and in his side, he would not believe. “One week later, the doors being locked, Jesus came into their midst, saying unto Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger into my hands and my side.’ Thomas declared, ‘My Lord and my God (my Adonai and my Jehovah) and Thomas believed.’ ”
At Pentecost, Peter spoke to the Jews quoting Psalms 16:8-11 speaking of Jesus. Acts 2:25-27 states of the Holy One of God that His flesh would rest in hope and not see corruption. Although Jesus was dead, his flesh did not decay. His bruised and humiliated body rested on the Sabbath.
While the disciples watched, Jesus was taken up out of their sight. (Acts 1:9-11) Two angels speaking to them said, “This same (physical) Jesus will so come in like manner as you have seen Him go.”
“For Christ is entered … into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (Hebrews 9:24)”He hath consecrated a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say His flesh. Jesus our High Priest, we can approach Him boldly in the holiest by His shed blood.” (Hebrews 10:19, 20)
“There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus.” (1Timothy 2:5)
“For in Him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9) Whatever the divine quality of Jehovah is, it dwells in Christ’s body.
Resurrection always, and only, refers to a bodily resurrection. A spirit does not need a resurrection. There is no such thing as a resurrected spirit.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Ian Cotton is the retired pastor of the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.