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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Objections to the Resurrection of Jesus

Don Stewart :: What Were the Differences between Jesus' Body Before and After His Resurrection?

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What Were the Differences between Jesus’ Body Before and After His Resurrection?

Objections to the Resurrection of Jesus – Question 23

While it was the same Jesus who was placed in the tomb on Good Friday, and rose on Easter Sunday, His resurrection body was also different in some respects. This can be seen in a number of ways.

1. He Could Enter Closed Rooms

Jesus Christ could enter closed rooms without opening the doors. We read in John’s gospel how Jesus appeared to His disciples when the doors were locked. It says,

In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (John 20:19 HCSB)

Jesus suddenly appeared in a locked room. there is no record of anything like this occurring before His resurrection from the dead.

2. He Was Able to Disappear

He was also able to disappear. Luke tells us that Jesus disappeared from the sight of two people with whom He had been walking with on the road to Emmaus. The Bible says,

As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! (Luke 24:30-31 NLT)

Jesus had the ability to vanish when He so desired.

3. He Never Needed Rest

As far as we are able to tell, Jesus’ resurrected body did not need any rest or food. Every account of Jesus after His resurrection has Him busy with ministry. Luke wrote,

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3 NIV)

While the Bible says that Jesus did eat and drink, there is nothing which indicates that this was necessary.

4. He Ascended into Heaven

Jesus’ resurrected body was able to ascend into heaven. We read of this in the first chapter of the Book of Acts. It records what happened in this manner:

It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud. As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white-robed men suddenly stood there among them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!” (Acts 1:9-11 NLT)

His resurrected body was able to ascend in front of His disciples.

5. The Description of the Glorified Christ

The most detailed description of the risen and ascended Christ is found in Revelation 1:12-16. It says,

Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. (Revelation 1:12-16 NRSV)

Here John records the vision of the glorified Christ. He was like the Son of Man, which links Him to His former earthly appearance, but He also radiated glory from His eyes, feet, voice, and face. This is the way believers will someday see Him.

Therefore, the description of the body of Jesus Christ after His resurrection indicates abilities He did not previously possess.

6. We Will Be like Him

One final thing. Scripture says that one day we will be like Him. This includes the new body we will receive. John wrote,

Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2 HCSB)

This is one of the many wonderful things for which believers have to look forward!

Conclusion: Jesus Body Was the Same Yet Different

In sum, while Jesus Christ came back from the dead in the same body which was put on the cross, Jesus’ body was indeed different in some respects after His resurrection from the dead.

Summary ’ Question 23
What Were the Differences between Jesus’ Body before and after His Resurrection?

The resurrected body that Jesus Christ possessed, though like His pre-resurrection body, was in some aspects different. Indeed, Jesus’ new body had abilities the previous one either did not have or did not demonstrate.

We find that Jesus could suddenly appear and disappear. Indeed, in the locked upper room, on Easter Sunday, Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of His disciples. Never do we find Him exhibiting this ability before His resurrection.

On the road to Emmaus after walking with two disciples for some extended period of time, Jesus suddenly disappeared from these two disciples. Again, nothing like this occurred during His earthly ministry.

He did not have to eat or rest. While He did eat on occasion, there is nothing indicated in the New Testament that it was necessary for Him to do so. Jesus also ascended into heaven when His earthly ministry was finished. Nothing like this is recorded during His earthly ministry.

The Bible also tells us that those who believe in Jesus Christ will one day receive a new body. This body will be like His. Among other things, this seems to indicate that we will be able to do the same things which Jesus did with His resurrected body.

Consequently there are similarities, as well as differences, between the body that Jesus Christ had while upon the earth and the one in which He was raised.

Was Jesus Raised Bodily from the Dead? ← Prior Section
Haven't People Apart from Jesus Come Back from the Dead? Next Section →
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