Sometimes God surprises us with revelations from surprising sources. My young son and I read from his age-appropriate devotional most mornings before school. Recently, he graduated to a new one. Two weeks ago we curled up to enjoy Devotion #3, “Jesus’ Powerful Resurrection.”
Here’s where I need to explain that I grew up in Christianity on a steady dose of Josh McDowell’s work in proving the historical reliability of the claims of Christianity. His book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict has a revised version available, but I still have one of the earlier editions. My favorite categories of support include prophecy and the historical reliability of the Bible and resurrection. Specifically because of the resurrection of Jesus, I have had confidence that faith in Christ leads to eternal life because Jesus conquered death by rising again! Other religious leaders remain in a grave and some gods in other religions have never lived as people, so they have been unable to die…or rise again. Let me tell you, my faith in life-after-death has been rock solid because of growing up knowing the facts Josh researched and recorded about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Back to the devotional. I found myself reading things I already knew that morning, like Jesus was “nearly beaten to death by Roman soldiers and then nailed to a cross.” Then, the devotional said something I had always known but never saw specifically through the lens of the resurrection. “[When] Jesus’ body came back to life, his flesh-and-blood corpse was transformed into a powerful, eternal body that could walk through walls or appear and disappear. His body had been utterly changed” (The Ultimate Boys’ Book of Devotions by Ed Strauss).
I stopped dead in my tracks. I have actually led studies that examined the characteristics of Jesus’ glorified body being possible indications about the type of glorified bodies we will have in heaven, and then heaven on earth. But I had never meditated on the fact that Jesus didn’t just rise from the dead and appear in the original human form He had before He died. That would have been good enough, quite frankly, but He did better. He rose again in a body better than before! Jesus didn’t just conquer death, He slaughtered, annihilated and trounced the living daylights out of death. He rose in a body that would enable Him to take His seat at the right hand of God the Father (an atmosphere our bodies can’t survive) and in lieu of His physical presence on earth, He sent us the Holy Spirit “Helper” to dwell inside us (John 16:7, Romans 8:9).
Why had I never camped my thoughts on that specific part of the resurrection story before beats me. Wow. My confidence is even more rock solid than it was before. You never know what you will learn when you study God’s Word, even from a little boy’s devotion book. Glory be! My sweet boy went off to school that day and I pondered THIS all day long. Folks, there is an eternity. We CAN believe. We have historical evidence that Jesus died and rose again in a glorified body. Our salvation is secure. Our belief is logical. We are safe.
Have a great day.
*P.S. – If you are interested in the details about Jesus’ glorified body, you can read the very end of each of the gospels for clues about what Christ’s body was like between the resurrection and when He was taken up into heaven. Matthew and Mark don’t say much. Luke 24 and John 20, 21 provide more clues. You will see He was recognizable as Him, was able to eat, and bore scars of His human experience just like us. However, His body was clearly not operating in fourth dimension as evidenced by other capabilities.
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, and broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.” Luke 24:30
“They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Luke 24:42,43
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.” Luke 24:51
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be wit you!'” John 20:19
“A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:26,27
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