Resurrection, part 19
I have a few last thoughts. Resurrection in Jewish thought always involved a body vacating its grave. If the first Christians had meant anything like being tranformed into spirits, they would not have used the word "resurrection." Resurrection is essential to Christianity. Without it, we have no hope. Jesus did not conquer death for us if he did not rise from the dead. If Jesus' resurrection were just a metaphor for Christ's continued presence in our memories and inspiration, there wouldn't be a clear indication in the scripture of a series of appearances that suddenly stopped. Since Jesus was raised bodily from the dead, we will be raised bodily from the dead. Our bodies will be like his body with all knew groovy things. I can't help but wonder if we'll be able to appear and disappear like Jesus did.
Now I want to make a summary of the arguments for Jesus' bodily resurrection. I did this to make it easy to remember.
1. Empty tomb argument:
a. If Jesus did not raise his actual body that he died in, then the empty tomb cannot be used as evidence for his resurrection.
b. Both the angels and the apostles used the empty tomb as evidence for Jesus' resurrection.
C. Therefore, Jesus raised his actual body that he died in.
2. Scars as proof argument:
a. If the body Jesus appeared in was not the same body that died, then the scars on the appearance body do not prove that it was Jesus himself who had risen.
b. Jesus showed his scars to prove that he had risen.
c. Therefore, Jesus was raised with the same body he died in.
3. The temple argument:
a. Jesus said, "if you destroy this temple, I will raise it up in three days."
b. By "this temple," Jesus meant his physical body.
c. Therefore, Jesus meant, "if you destroy my physical body, I will raise my physical body in three days."
4. Flesh and bones argument:
a. A spirit does not have flesh and bones.
b. Jesus' body has flesh and bones.
c. Therefore, Jesus' body was not a spirit.
5. Definition argument:
a. If the apostles had not meant that Jesus was raised physically from the dead, they would not have called it a resurrection.
b. The apostles did call it a resurrection.
c. Therefore, the apostles meant that Jesus was raised physically from the dead.
6. 1 Corinthians 15 argument, several points:
a. The body that rises is the same body that died.
b. The distinction between the body that died and the resurrection body is not a distinction in substance, but in properties.
c. The resurrection body puts on properties, like immortality; it doesn't lose properties, like physicality.
d. There is continuity between the seed that is planted and the plant that grows from it, and Paul uses the seed/plant analogy to talk about the resurrection body.
Silly me! I was having such fun with this topic that I even came up with an acronym to remember some of these arguments. If we want to argue for the bodily resurrection of Jesus, then we want to use the BEST arguments we have.