Sometimes our celebrations of notable occurrences provide for us a holiday without our fully realizing the significance of the reason for the celebration. This is true of Easter. Too often we celebrate the holiday rather than the deep significance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I feel sorry for those who call the supreme miracle of the Resurrection a subjective experience of the disciples rather than an actual historical event.
I have always been curious about others’ religious beliefs. I have had multiple discussions with ministers and people having religious affiliations other than my own. These discussions have often led to questions regarding the nature of God. I find much confusion out there in relation to the nature of the individual members of the godhead and their roles in our lives.
When I have asked ministers of religion if Jesus Christ has a body of flesh and bones today, they have invariably answered, “No.” This is troubling to me. The scriptures are replete with first-hand witnesses of the literal resurrection of the Lord.
Shortly after the crucifixion, the King James Version of Luke gives this account in chapter 24 beginning with the 36th verse: “And as they (the apostles) thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
“And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
“And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
In Paul’s epistle to the Romans (6:9) he says, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”
So when did Jesus lose the physical body with which he resurrected? And if he somehow did lose that body, then what does that portend for you and me? Are we to be resurrected only to somehow un-resurrect? I don’t think so.
You see, my beliefs are quite simple. I believe that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s. His son, Jesus Christ, also has a physical body. But the Holy Ghost does not have a body of flesh of bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
The godhead consists of three separate and distinct individuals. They are one in purpose.
We are literally created in the image of God. When I pray, I pray to a physical, tangible, exalted being; a loving Father with whom I can, in some small way, relate.
In Matthew (3:16-17) we read, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” On this occasion, all three members of the godhead were individually manifested.
Luke, the physician, describes the experience of Mary and the other Mary as they approached the garden tomb: “And they found the stone rolled away…They entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus….As they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
“And… said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen (Luke 24:2-6).
At the time of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, his disciples “looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:10-11).
The reality of the resurrection provides to one and all the peace that surpasses understanding. It comforts those whose loved ones lie in the huge military cemeteries of Europe or who perished in the depths of the sea or who lie in the small Blanco Historic Cemetery.
No, Jesus did not “un-resurrect.” He lives. He is real. He is personal. He is risen.
(Comments? mustardseeds email@example.com)