Jesus’ Resurrection – A picture of our future

The resurrection of Jesus is not a fable of the past but a historical event.  But what about the nature of Jesus resurrection?  The overwhelming truth according to the Bible is that Jesus was raised with a physical body.

Today the Bible is often recognized along with other literature as an ancient book that describes some historical facts, some myths and fables, and some good moral teaching.  But when we study the Bible we discover this is far from the truth.  Many scholars who have truly sought to find answers in the Bible, and even to discredit it whole-heartedly, have studied it seriously and been confronted with its message and origin.

What they have discovered is that the claims that the Bible makes are not only staggering, they are also backed up and authenticated in ways that they hadn’t possibly imagined.  The facts of history in the minds of an overwhelming number of great scholars attest that the evidence of the Bible as well as other sources describe that Jesus literally rose from the dead.

The resurrection of Jesus is not a fable of the past but a historical event.  But what about the nature of Jesus resurrection?  The overwhelming truth according to the Bible is that Jesus was raised with a physical body.

The resurrection of Jesus is a physical – bodily resurrection

The Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul and I’ve heard more than one Christian try to suggest that this is what the Bible teaches about Jesus resurrection and ours.  But Jesus resurrection was a Physical resurrection.  There was no body in the tomb left to decay, the body had been transformed.  When Jesus appeared to people after the resurrection he invited people to touch him.  He also ate and drank with them, and neither of these things work in the context of a spiritual resurrection.  This is all really important information because it has implications for our own resurrection.

Interestingly, while the Greeks believed in a resurrection of the Spirit this was not true of Hebrew teaching.  In what is probably the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job, we read:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,  (Job 19:25 – 26)

In God’s eyes Job stood out in his generation because God boasts about him, so must have known God well and in this passage, even in his
despair and affliction, Job clearly expected a bodily resurrection sometime after his death.  “In my flesh” he says, “I will see God.”  It was in a physical body that he would see God.

And this is why our understanding of the resurrection is so important to us.  In the case of Job it was his understanding of the reality of God and that one day he would see him face to face that kept him motivated not to ‘curse God and die’ like his wife suggested he do.  We understand later that Job didn’t have it all together in his thinking, he still had much to learn and God graciously teaches him this, but the foundation was there and that foundation was the resurrection and this motivated his thinking.  And if the resurrection isn’t the foundational truth in our lives then we should change our thinking as well.

The resurrection calls us to change our thinking:

When we truly understand the reality of Jesus resurrection – it will challenge us to think differently about life.  And of course death:

To change our thinking about death

When the women went to the tomb they expected to find the body of Jesus.  They went to the tomb to complete the task of anointing the body of Jesus to complete his burial they presumed that death was the end. In our culture death is widely seen as the end and because it is the end it is feared and means that our focus is getting as much out of this life as we can no matter what the cost to us or to others.  But understanding that Jesus rose from the dead and that all people will also should change our thinking on this.

To change our thinking about Jesus

And that is where we need to take our eyes off ourselves and the reality of our own future and focus fully on Jesus and what His resurrection teaches us.  The two people who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:19) spoke of Jesus as having been ‘a prophet, powerful in word and deed’ but later they would call him ‘Prince and Saviour’ (Acts 5:31), the word for prince here means the chief leader and the ultimate example.  What was the difference?  It was in meeting the resurrected Jesus that caused the disciples to change their thinking.

In our culture people want to acknowledge that Jesus is a prophet, they speak of him as a great religious leader and teacher.  But in understanding Jesus as being resurrected from the dead we can no longer just see Jesus this way.

To change our thinking about our future

And finally a resurrected Jesus causes us to revise our thinking about our future.  The resurrection points to a day when God will wind up all human history and call everyone to account.  Paul writes:

But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.  (1 Corinthians 15:23 – 26)

And when speaking in Athens Paul said:

“God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.  He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

The reality of the resurrection also points to a day of judgement.  A day when all things will be restored in their rightful place.

The most important question you will ever ask is what you believe about Jesus and His resurrection.  It will change your understanding of all aspects of life death and eternity and depending on your actions it will change your destiny and that is the most important thing.  If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead as the Bible teaches us, if you believe that he is seated at the right hand of God the Father and is returning.  Then the question is; ‘what have you done about it?’  Have you repented of your sins, have you put your faith and trust in Jesus, the only one who is able to atone for your sins so that you can be born again and receive eternal life in the presence of God?