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"While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, 'Peace be to you.' They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, 'Don't be upset, and don't let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands, look at my feet -- it's really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn't have muscle and bone like this.' As He said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. They still couldn't believe what they were seeing. It was too much. It seemed too good to be true.
"He asked, 'Do you have any food here?' They gave Him a piece of leftover fish they had cooked. He took it and ate it right before their eyes." Luke 24:36-43 (The Message).
The Bible doesn't give us carefully worked-out doctrinal schemes, but a little bit of detective work can yield some valuable clues to satisfy our curiosity; about the resurrection, for example.
Jesus assured us that, if we believe in Him, even though we die, we shall live. Obviously, dying would refer to physically dying which none of us will escape except those who are alive when Jesus returns. But we know that when we die, we leave our bodies behind to return to the ground. However, without our bodies we are not completely human. We are not angels who are spirits without bodies.
Jesus' body was placed in a tomb to decay, but when He rose from the dead, He did not rise in a newly-created body but in His renewed body, leaving behind only the empty grave clothes. He invited His disciples to check Him out. The marks of His crucifixion were still there as an eternal reminder of His sacrifice for us. He had the same physical features which they recognised as their Master.
The Apostle Paul assured us that our resurrection bodies would be like Jesus' body, not newly created but renewed, like a plant which grows from a seed. Our bodies will be sown into the ground and raised in an indestructible body just like the body of Jesus.
Jesus' body was touchable. He was not an apparition. He had muscle and bone; He even ate fish to show them that He was real, not a phantom or a product of their collective imagination. There is no way they all could have imagined Him at the same moment and heard Him speak the same thing to all of them.
His body, though real and material, was much more than that. He came to them through a closed door. He was there and yet everywhere at the same time. Although He was not physically present in the Upper Room to hear Thomas express his scepticism about His resurrection, He knew what Thomas had said, came to him and invited him to put his fingers in the wounds to confirm that He really was alive.
Not only will our bodies be incorruptible but also our spirits. Jesus defeated death, the end result of sin. Since we cannot die, it will be impossible for us to sin. We will be as perfect as Jesus is. We will be like Him, in perfect unity with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "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 3:2 (NIV).
Perhaps the most awesome of all is that Jesus is our High Priest, representing us to the Father in His human body. So great is the miracle of Jesus becoming a man that He will always be a man. "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV). We will fellowship with Him in His kingdom as fully human.
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