English Standard Version (ESV)
33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: Kiss the Feet
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Living Christ Dispels All Doubt
The resurrection is such a crucial fact. Christianity crumbles without it.
Because of the resurrection, sin is defeated. Because of the resurrection, death is defeated. Because of the resurrection, God's wrath has been satisfied. Because of the resurrection, our ability to have an eternal relationship with God has been made possible.
It's a big deal.
Which means that Jesus couldn't simply be resurrected and return to heaven. He needed to be seen alive by the disciples. The resurrection needed to be witnessed.
Why a bodily resurrection?
Number one, a bodily resurrection was necessary to demonstrate His complete victory over sin. Sin kills. Sin brought spiritual death and it brought physical death. If He only conquered the spiritual side, then He did not conquer sin completely. The wages of sin is both physical and spiritual death. He needed to conquer both...He needed to conquer both. If Christ had only conquered spiritual death, it would have been less than a complete victory. If he had not risen bodily, we who are His would not rise either. There would never be a restoration of this earth, there would be no millennial glory, that is all gone. That can’t happen. Bodily resurrection is necessary to make the triumph over sin’s effect total.
Secondly, resurrection is necessary to demonstrate the purpose of God in the humanity, that we were created as men and women to give glory to God through that creation. And that creation would be recovered in glory so that as we men and women in physical form throughout eternity, we will give glory to God as we were originally intended to, not as a half-way being which was partially conquered by sin and partially rescued.
And maybe most importantly, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is visible proof that God was satisfied with His sacrifice. It does matter that His body does come out of that grave because how else do we know that God was satisfied with His offering? Because we couldn’t see His Spirit. Faith comes, saving faith comes when you acknowledge Jesus as Lord because you know God raised Him from the dead which puts the divine stamp of approval on His work on the cross...
If all you do is follow Jesus to the cross, you’re going to have your hopes shattered. They needed to know not only did He die but He’s alive and the only way they would know that is to see Him in the physical, visible, tangible, touchable form. If they had never seen Jesus alive from the dead, if his body was in a box somewhere, they would never have carried the message any further. They would have gone to Emmaus and every other village dispersed all the way back to where they came from and they would have said, “There’s no reason to go a step further.” They would never have attempted to make converts and establish a religion based on a dead, disappointing teacher even though they loved Him. What changed them was they saw Him alive. No one would have believed the Lord Jesus was Redeemer, Savior, Son of God and Lord if He hadn’t visibly risen from the dead and that too is the testimony of the Apostle Paul in these powerful words, 1 Corinthians 15:13, “If there’s no resurrection of the dead, Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your preaching is vain, your faith is vain and we are found to be false witnesses of God because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ whom He didn’t raise if in fact the dead are not raised. If the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless.”
He had to show Himself alive so we would know that His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father. Beloved, the philosophers were wrong. Plato was wrong, Aristotle was wrong, and all who followed them were wrong. The body is not the prison of the spirit, the body is essential to what it means to be a human. And in our glorified form, we will be both body and spirit in heaven exalting Christ forever. And the good part, we will be like Him.Amen!
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 24:44-49
Sunday's passage: Haggai 1-2
Monday's passage: Revelation 17, Zechariah 1-2
So funny, because I had a conversation with my sister last week about our resurrected bodies. I am intensely curious to know how they will be different from our current bodies! Of course this is one of the lesser reasons I am awaiting Jesus' return, but still... inquiring minds want to know!
MacArthur's explanation of Jesus' bodily resurrection makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing that.
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