Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 21, 2019

When we confess the Apostle’s Creed, we confess: “I believe in …. The resurrection of the body” – “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 24:36-43.

“While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be to you.”  But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.  And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  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.”  And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish;  and He took it and ate it before them.”  Luke 24:36-43.

——————-

The disciples thought they were seeing a spirit.

Many believe in some resurrection of a spirit, maybe like some vague wispy ghost.

But, here was Jesus with a resurrected body that they could recognize.  “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.”  Verse 39.

When we confess the Apostle’s Creed, we confess:  “I believe in …. The resurrection of the body;  And the life everlasting.  AMEN.”

And, when we celebrate Easter in our worship service later this morning, we celebrate not only the resurrection of Jesus’ body, but we also celebrate the resurrection of our body after our death.

Consider in more detail what we confess about the resurrection of the body through the Westminster Larger Catechism.

Q. 52. How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?

A. Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death, (of which it was not possible for him to be held,) and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof, (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul, …

Consider that in His resurrected body, Jesus retained some properties of His body that existed before his death such as the imprint of the nails in His hand and the cavity in His side.  See John 20:24-27.

The resurrection of our body means that like the disciples recognized Jesus, our beloved family and friends in heaven will be able to recognize us and that we will be able to recognize them.  In other words, our resurrected body will retain some essential properties that we had before our death (unlike a vague wispy spirit or ghost).  But, those essential properties will be “without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life”.

Many believe the resurrection of the body is too good to be true.  They think it is good enough that there is just a resurrection of the spirit.  First, they most generally think of the body as bad, inferior to the spirit.  Second, they think, without further thought or further study of Scripture, of the body as “a body of death”.  “Wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death?”  Romans 7:24.  

They underestimate the power of God to forgive and justify.

They underestimate what the resurrection of Christ means to us.

They underestimate the power of God to resurrect.

“He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:25.

“So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;  it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”  1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

There is other Scripture that also builds our hope in the resurrection of the body.

When we consider that God gives life to even our mortal life through His Spirit in us, it builds our hope in the resurrection of the body.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:11.

Consider the warning.

“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.  Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless;  you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”  1 Corinthians 15:12-22.

So, what are we going to do with this resurrection of the body, this news that is too good to believe?  

Are we going to waver in unbelief?

Or, are we going to follow the example of our father in the faith, Abraham?

“yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.  Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:20-24.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: