Resurrection changes

We have just celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection.  With that act He demonstrated His authority over life and death,

‘The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from My Father.’  John 10:17-18

Previously Jesus had raised Jairus’ daughter, the widow of Nain’s son and also Lazarus, from the dead.   What is the difference between those people’s post-resurrection bodies and Jesus’ post-resurrection body?  They were raised in their natural bodies of flesh, blood and bones and they died a natural death again.

Jesus’ post-resurrection body still looked human like us.  He had flesh and bones, but no blood.  He still ate but He went through locked doors and appeared and disappeared.  With that body He ascended.  We know He is at the right hand of His Father and has not aged in 2,000 years.  His body is now eternal.  It cannot decay.  

Why is that important to us?  It means we need never fear about our own resurrection.  Jesus has the power to do it as is written, 

‘…we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.’  1 Corinthians 15:52

What will we be like?  

‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’  1 John 3:8

Conclusion

We who belong to Jesus will have eternal post-resurrection bodies like His.  We will be with the Bridegroom and the Father eternally with the Holy Spirit still in us.

He is risen!

Yearly God’s people celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.  It was a turning point in history.  No Resurrection of Jesus means no Kingdom of God, 

‘…Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.… Then the end will come, when He hands over the Kingdom to the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.’ 1 Corinthians 15:20-24

Christ is the key to the eternal Kingdom but, there is another aspect.  

Before His Crucifixion, Jesus was fully human and fully God.  When He went to Galilee from Jerusalem, He had to walk.  He became tired,

‘…and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well….’  John 6:6

When He arose after His crucifixion and death, His body had changed.  For example, two of Jesus’ followers were going to Emmaus.  On their way Jesus joined them and feigned ignorance of the momentous events that took place in Jerusalem.  They were surprised by His ‘ignorance’ and told Him about His crucifixion and the women who reported that they had seen Him alive.   They invited Him to stay with them.  While they were eating they suddenly recognized Him and He disappeared.  Immediately they hurried back to Jerusalem to report it to the disciples.  Then it happened, 

”While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'”  Luke 24:36 

The disciples thought they were seeing a ghost, but He reassured them, 

‘Look at My hands and My feet.  It is I Myself!  Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’  Luke 24:39

At another occasion, while the disciples were gathered, 

‘Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them.’  John 20:26b

Conclusion

Jesus is alive and at His Father’s right hand in heaven.

No Resurrection, no New Testament

It is Easter, the time of the year that we celebrate the greatest event of all time: the Redeemer, the King on the Cross that died and was resurrected on the third day.  It sounds a bit strange, but it is a demonstration of how God’s ways differ from the ways we think.

#  Did the Resurrection happen?

At this time of the year many defenders of the faith write about the Resurrection and how we can know it really happened.  They understand that without the Resurrection, we would have no New Testament.  The logic in Scripture tells us that Jesus rose from the dead.  Let us look at what the New Testament reveals:

#  Jesus’ appearances to Peter and Paul after His resurrection

  • Jesus talked to Peter after His Resurrection.1  Peter wrote the two letters, 1 & 2 Peter.
  • The Resurrected Lord Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus.  If Jesus was then still in the grave, He could not have appeared to Paul.  He did.  Which explains why we have Paul’s letters.  Without the Resurrection, Romans as well as the letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, et cetera would not be in the Bible. 2
  • Paul’s companion, Luke, wrote both the Gospel of Luke and Acts.  There would have been no message to spread if Jesus did not rise from the dead.  Luke accompanied Paul on some of his journeys to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.  Luke reports in Acts 22:21 that the resurrected Lord Jesus said to Paul, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’

#  Because of the Resurrection we have the four Gospels.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, why would the disciples tell the world His story?  Jesus said to His disciples just before His ascension, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….’ 3  So the four Gospels as well as the spread of the Gospel throughout the world testify to Jesus’ resurrection.

#  The beloved John wrote and saw the glorified Jesus.

  • Scholars accept that Jesus’ beloved disciple, John, wrote the 3 letters of John.  John writes about Jesus as if He is alive in His Father’s presence, ‘But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.’ 4  That is only possible because Jesus rose from the dead.
  • Likewise the resurrected Jesus gave the book of Revelation to John.  The glorified Lord Jesus said to John, ‘I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever….’ 5  

#  Jesus’ brothers believe in Him.

  • We read in John 7:3-9 that Jesus’ brothers did not have faith in Him.   Yet the letters of His brothers James and Jude are in the New Testament.  Their change from unbelief to belief must have happened after the Resurrection.

#  Jesus at His Father’s right hand in heaven

  • In the letter to the Hebrews God says to the Lord Jesus after His ascension, ‘You are my Son, today I have become your Father.’ 6  God also said to Jesus, ‘Sit at my right hand….’ 7  It happened after the Resurrection, because the Father was satisfied that Jesus paid the death penalty for sin.

Conclusion

If Jesus did not rise from the dead on the third day, there would be no New Testament.  We have the New Testament.  We glorify the Resurrected Jesus, our glorious, wonderful Saviour.

References

  1. John 21:1-22
  2. Acts 9:4-16; 22:7-10; 26:14-18
  3. Matthew 28:18
  4. 1 John 2:1
  5. Revelation 1:18
  6. Hebrews 1:5
  7. Hebrews 1:13
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